January 13, 2005
Educational crisis in Berkshire

I thought that this posting was going to be about this story, as told in paragraph one:

LATER this month Brakenhale School will be officially no longer be classed as failing. This is great news and a huge testament to the hard work which has gone on over the two years it has been in what the government calls 'special measures'.

But it turns out that my posting is actually about paragraph two, which reads as follows:

It is difficult to underestimate how serious a crisis was at the back end of 2002.

I see two howlers in this short paragraph. First, to be charitable, let us surmise that a "there", or equivalent word, was simply missed, between "crisis" and "was". Either that or the "a" should be "the". But second, more seriously, "underestimate" should be "overestimate". You see this a lot, and it makes the hackles of my inner stickler, to use Lynne Truss' phrase in this book, rise. Can a stickler have hackles? The one inside me does.

Government inspectors were appalled by what they found, concluding that the children were not provided with a proper education.

This Bracknell News opinion columnist seems to have suffered educationally also.

Posted by Brian Micklethwait at 10:02 PM
Category: GrammarLiteracy