Bang-head-against-wall-because-of-poor-grammar-then-versus-thanDear Kid,

I just read an email from a teacher at the High School that made my teeth hurt.

A teacher–did I mention that part, O Best Beloved?–a teacher, presumably college educated, someone trusted to educate our young people (most notably your sister at this point in time)–abusing the English language.

This teacher–still with me on the part about it being a TEACHER who we’re talking about?–substituted the word then for than.

Now before you say anything, let me point out that this is not the first time this particular teacher has made this particular mistake, so there is no excusing it by saying that she just “oopsed” as she was typing too quickly. Let me also point out that even if that were the case, she was communicating to students and parents and should proofread her work (as she no doubt expects her students to do).

Dear World: then and than are no more interchangeable than men and man, pen and pan, ten and tan, or shredded wheat and corn flakes (I haven’t had breakfast yet).

Is it wrong of me to expect that people responsible for education should be able to model decent grammar?

Apparently, I do not have the authority to make the teacher in question write a paper about the correct use of the word ‘then.’ Nor do I have the right to try to get her to pronounce the word accurately (which would help with her spelling).

Wonder if she reads this blog? Or if I can anonymously send her the link to this post?

Better to have a great day than a lousy one. But if you have a bad day, then I hope tomorrow is better.

Love, Mom