During the 1970s, Pink Floyd released a song with the refrain “We Don’t Need No Education” and this song was immensely popular for many years.
While I remain a fan of the song, and the group, please be mindful that the popular media (i.e. television, movies, music, etc.) are not usually good guides for living your life.
Knowledge is power, truly, and without it, you will be at a permanent disadvantage. The converse is also true: more knowledge gives you the edge, and what’s even better is that nobody can ever take away your knowledge.
The slaves in pre-1865 America knew it, and one of the things that blacks (and women, and others) fought for was the right to receive education! Hence the 13th and 14th constitutional amendments were brought about after the US Civil War.
Almost a century later, in the same country, people of colour were still fighting for the right to an equal education. That is how important it is to those who know, from hard experience, what it is like to do without knowledge.
That is why it saddens me when people push to exercise their right to drop out, or otherwise take the easy way out.
And it’s not usually sufficient just to get by, either, doing the mere minimum. If one’s language skills are “so-so” or just passable, then you will still be at a disadvantage.
Sometimes a sentence can be spelled correctly, but…
Online grammar and spell checking features just don’t seem to catch everything!
Now consider the following sentence:
A woman, without her man, is nothing.
Even without the photograph, the connotations are shockingly prejudiced.
Now before the feminists and other supporters of equality condemn me, please consider for a moment that clear expression of language goes beyond just mechanical spelling and vocabulary.
If we change the punctuation slightly, the complexion of the sentence and its intent are completely altered:
A woman: without her, man is nothing!
Note who the leader of the group is, this time around?
Same word order, same correct spelling, but change just a few dots here and there, and the meaning of the sentence is reversed!
Thus was an example of grammar construction that I loved using in some of my university lectures, years ago. I can still hear the initial gasps, and the subsequent laughter.
Therefore, a solid grasp of English expression is vital for you to get ahead, as it will distinguish you from so many others in the workplace and in social settings.
Otherwise, as Pink Floyd also alluded, you risk being…
We’ll build on these skills as I keep on publishing more bits of real life, real world wisdom for you.
Dr Ling 🙂