Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Cooking up a storm

Would you believe that some government report has been looking at the language used in cookbooks? No? No, even I—cynical as I am—would not believe that the state could happily waste our money on something that fucking stupid.

Alas, I would be wrong.
They may look easy enough, but the recipes of Nigella Lawson and Delia Smith are actually very tricky to follow, a Government study has found.

Fuck me! How tricky, exactly? And in what way: I mean, there are some strange pro-cooking terms that I might not be able to understand without the aid of some glossary, but is this the case? Er...
The long sentences, complex measurements and complicated words mean aspiring chefs must be equipped with GCSE standard reading and numeracy skills in order to understand them.

Yes, I can see how—thanks to the state's fucking pathetic attempts to educate our children—many of our young people might have a problem getting up to GCSE standards of reading.
According to the research, Gordon Ramsay's language is so easy to read that his cooking methods could be followed by a seven-year-old.

Right. So, whilst the Department of Innovation, Universities and Skills might think that this is a good thing, I can see the possibility of the Department of Health and Safety leaping in to condemn Ramsey for writing a book that might encourage young children to play with pans of boiling water.
Up to half of Smith's recipes and three in seven of Lawson's were too difficult for someone to understand if they did not have GCSE standard reading and numeracy skills.

Can I please just emphasise that every, single fucking child should be able to read and write their own fucking language to at least GCSE standard—every, single one of them. It's a fucking disgrace that we are churning out kids incapable of reading to the not very demanding levels of GCSE.

I can't help thinking that we gave the Secretary of State for Education a lemon-juice infused paper-cut for every child who left school without a C or above in GCSE English, we might see some more fucking results. That's if the cunt didn't die from loss of blood. For fuck's sake.

Do go and read more over at The Reptile's: I think that I may have lost the will to live.


Fidothedog said...

Slightly off topic here, but A Tangled Web came up with a classic with this one:

Every Child Left Behind?

JuliaM said...

"The study, carried out by the Department of Innovation, Universities and Skills, looked at 35 recipes published by five of the most popular celebrity chefs and assessed their readability and writing style."

Well, at least we now know which Govt Department can be dispensed with, because if this is what they are using taxpayers money for, they don't deserve to exist.

Tim J said...

Not that there's any waste at all in the public sector, no Siree!

Incidentally, I'm not sure I'd like seven year olds listenng to Gordon Ramsay either.

rightwingprof said...

If you think that's a waste of money, here, they just announced the results of a study (they didn't say how much funding it got -- they never do) that concluded that when tests get easier, scores go up.

MatGB said...

Playing advocate a bit. IT's not so much kids leaving school that's the issue, it's adults that are barely literate that's the issue, and while I agree that everyone should be able to read, I've met people in their 50s and 60s that are barely able to (so glad I've left that job—had to perpetually redo the forms to make them so simple, and people still fucked them up).

There are a lot of analytical engines out there that will go over your website and blog and tell you what sort of reading comprehension score is needed to understand it, and the recommended for a general intersest site is, scarily, that of an average 14 or 15 year old. Note the 'average' there, which is normally a level of stupidity I find hard dealing with, let alone those as far below as some of us probably are above.

If you want to improve health, then the books on healthy cooking need to be accessible to the morons that are raising the problem kids. If you're too stupid to be able to read a Delia Smith cookbook, then gods help your kids. Unfortunately, there are a large number of people that are too stupid to understand her.

(BTW, you and others have pretty much convinced me on school vouchers now, which is something I never thought would happen)

Roger Thornhill said...

Just imagine the outrage if it required an 'O'-level!

p.s. I was going to say that this is because Nigella's book requires people to know their alphabet up to F, but that would have been childish.

mitch said...

these people have no problem reading and filling in benefit forms.

Mark Wadsworth said...

To be fair, The Purple Scorpion beat you to this one by a few hours, and boiled it down to one simple question. To which there is one simple answer (see comments).

Oh yeah? So what has happened for the last ten years, exactly?

Over at the ASI, they are posting some of the winning entries of the Young Writers on Liberty. One does not want to put such keen minds off,...