People do not go to college to learn to spell

Strange attitudes regarding education sometimes surface in the dialogue on television dramas.

Recently, I watched a Bones rerun of the second episode of Season 10 (2014), “The Lance to the Heart.” At some point, the squints discuss an anonymous note. Cam does a quick profiling of the note-writer—poor handwriting, nonstandard grammar, incorrect spelling. She concludes that the writer did not receive an education “beyond high school.”

I gasped.

Does the person who wrote that imagine that people acquire basic writing skills in college?

Legible handwriting, standard grammar, and the ability to spell common words are the stuff of elementary school.

Youngsters who get all the way to high school without mastering these skills are certainly not going to acquire them in college. They have a lot of nerve even going to college.

Much can be learned in eight years

Upon completion of eighth grade, a youngster should be literate and numerate enough to function in an entry level job in a variety of occupations.

Harry Gordon Selfridge, the American who founded the famous London department store, left school at fourteen and went to work in a bank.

Colonel Sanders left school in seventh grade, but left with enough reading and writing skills to pursue a law degree later on.

More than one example of muddled thoughts about education in Bones episodes

This is not the first time I’ve been struck by peculiar views about education expressed in the Bones series.

I’m always annoyed by an intern called Finn. He can rattle off the scientific name for every bone in the human body, but is incapable of speaking standard English at work.

I write about Booth’s conflicted views about public vs private education here.

Enough of the college brainwashing, please

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