Gosh, there\’s so much here:
Teachers need to do more work to improve children\’s vocabulary and make it clear when the use of slang and colloquialisms are not acceptable, academics have found.
That is, do not let it all hang out as everyone\’s been told for the past few decades. There is a formal language which needs to be known as well as the regional vernaculars.
With older children, chief examiners have revealed a growing tendency for pupils to lapse into the vernacular in exams scripts, using slang and inappropriate expressions.
Slang and the vernacular can be extremely powerful in a piece of writing. Although, to be fair, it\’s a bit like playing music exquisitely badly: you\’ve got to be able to do it properly before you can play around with the rules and know just where to go wrong.
Perhaps I\’m a tad touchy on this point….my own writing uses the vernacular and I deliberately try to use speech patterns rather than more formal styles (at least, my own speech patterns which are in themselves more formal than most).
They give us an example of the inappropriate use of the vernacular in an exam answer:
\”Hamlet is a laid back mummy\’s boy who needs to move on.\”
Err, actually, that\’s rather more cogent than tens of thousands of heavyweight tomes that have been written on hte subject.