Wednesday, August 13, 2008 

Improve your English with the super soaraway Sun!

Kudos must go to the schools minister Jim Knight for some top class satire at the Sun's expense:

TENS of thousands of teenage boys are falling behind in English skills – and should read The Sun to improve, a minister said yesterday.

He then ruins the joke by taking it too far:

He also urged parents to encourage boys to read books by Sun columnists Jeremy Clarkson, who stars on telly’s Top Gear, and ex-SAS soldier Andy McNab.

And if you really want to put them off reading for life, you could suggest Ayn Rand to complete the trifecta.

To be serious for a half a moment, if Knight wasn't trying to be the biggest sycophant to walk on a pair of legs, he could have suggested that there are plenty of things apart from one of the world's worst newspapers and two of its worst columnists to read that may actually help them improve their reading and which won't embarrass them - video game magazines, for example, are on the whole far better written and less poisonous than the Sun or any of the other tabloids. Most schools with a half decent library will have plenty that is designed to appeal to those at that exact age, and also probably, if they're lucky, a couple of broads or ex-broads or at least their sports sections which genuinely would help rather than talk down to the average teenage boy.

Still, it's nice to see that the Sun accepts that its reading level is about that of a 14-year-old - maybe Knight wasn't paying a compliment after all. It also let this comment through:

Well, they'll learn plenty of slang, jive talk and poor English if nothing else by reading the sun.

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