Date: Sat, 13 Jan 1996 22:12:14 -0700


Subject: Re: The reason kids miswrite ITS'


Thanks for giving due credit to those who are still pushing the stone

up the hill at NCTE. I must plead mea culpa also, having diverted my energies

into bilingual education for twenty years. But despite all, on taking up

teaching English linguistics again after moving to Arizona, I was shocked

at the backsliding that had occurred since 1972, when we were confidently

and rather smugly singing "We have overcome", and thinking the English teaching

profession had been so thoroughly imbued with linguistic understanding that

the next generation of students would no longer have to have all the

traditional misconceptions and lack of knowledge remediated. Alas, if anything

the students today are even less knowledgeable than twenty years ago. And it

is not just a biased Arizona sample, since a large percentage of students

here are from other states (with temperatures in the 70s and having to use

the air conditioning today, the attraction is understandable).

And while giving credit, let me add our collective indebtedness to

you for your outstanding contribution to us all as editor of American Speech.