Friday, September 07, 2007

Are you smarter than a 5th grader?

Ok, this is part of my vacation, though it is most certainly NOT allergy related. However, I'm going to blog about it anyway, as I was so incensed that I need a forum in which to vent. I hope you understand...
Non-allergic husband (NAH) and I were watching TV one of the nights of our vacation when we stumbled across "Are you smarter than a 5th grader?" the FOX show hosted by Jeff Foxworthy. I tend to enjoy the show because as a former teacher, I have a trove of useless knowledge I can use to upstage NAH (did I just say that? oops...He's just so darn smart that every once in a while it's nice to know that I know something he doesn't!)
We were watching a cum laude graduate compete with/against the children on the show, and early on she was asked the following question in the 'Grammar' section...How many proper nouns are in the following sentence? "While in Oklahoma, Oprah met our ostrich Ozzy." Please keep in mind that the question in its entirety is viewed on a large screen. I hope that you all know the answer, but just in case, it's three. By looking at the screen, there are three words with capital letters. BIG CLUE.
However, this supposedly intelligent woman answered "well, I don't know, I think the answer's one, but if I remember my pronouns "I, he, she, it, they..." and at this point I started screaming at the television something along the lines of "ARE YOU KIDDING ME?" At what point in school, dear readers, do you remember the pronouns of "I, he, she, it, they, Oprah?" I mean REALLY!!! And she persisted in this explanation while every one of the kids on the show was trying to keep from laughing. She finally decided (and was partially convinced by the host because it was so damn early in the game) to use one of her helps, only to find out that all the 5th graders had written "three" as their answer. You think? And she was shocked, but quickly recovered with, "well, that's what I was thinking..."
I was offended on several levels. I was offended as an editor, writer, and a sometimes proofreader, that no one in this country seems to be able to string sentences together properly anymore. I was offended as a teacher, because obviously this woman didn't understand a lick of grammar, and I was offended on behalf of the 5th graders who were given someone so obviously dense to compete against......

Your Allergic Diner


PK said...

Great, now I'm going to be angry all night. I guess I'm glad I don't watch that show, because I have a feeling I'd be screaming a lot of the time.

RighterLady said...

Unreal. Stupid people abound. It just necessitated blog space. As always, thanks for stopping by!