If you thought I was exaggerating (see Simply The Best viz. "2000s"), here's a genuine application I've just received from a young English Literature graduate to work as an English Language Teacher at our school. It goes without saying - though I'm saying just in case it doesn't - that I've changed the poor lady's identity, telephone number, partner, etc. OK, here goes . . .
Myself and my parner are both efl teachers with teaching cert's and english degree's. We are looking to move over to Spain together to teach english, I have attatched our CV's, please contact me via email or on 0123456789.
Do you provide accomadation?
So, let's see . . . Here we have somebody - an English Literature graduate, for heaven's sake! - who wants to teach English and, yet, she can't spell "attached", "accommodation" or "partner" properly. She also uses apostrophe + s to indicate plurals incorrectly - *CV's, *degree's, *cert's - and employs capital letters when she feels like it, basically. In my day, we were taught to use capital letters for names, places, days, months, etc. Oh, and at the start of each new sentence.
I haven't even talked about style or appropriacy . . . "Hi"? OK, we'll let that go, though I would prefer "Dear Colin" before we declare ourselves lifelong buddies. Obviously, "Dear Mr. Raphead" would be quite preposterous in this day and age. Nevertheless, "Myself and my parner" definitely loses points. Well, that's what myself and my colleges think. Sorry, my colleagues and I.
I was tempted to reply, "Hey Mandy, we'll provide accommodation just as soon as you learn how to spell it correctly". But I didn't. I daresay I'm coming across as terribly snobby and snotty, so I hasten to add that this is somebody who is doubtless a lovely person, and certainly much less a waste of space in the general scheme of things than yours truly. According to Mandy's CV, she was President of her Student Union, Editor of the university newspaper - Editor! I won't shame the university by naming them here -, and a fundraiser for Breast Cancer Awareness. She has a Duke of Edinburgh gold award, and enjoys horse-riding and raising money for charity in her spare time. So hats off to Mandy; that's far more than I will ever achieve in my life, I imagine. It's just there's no way I can take on an English teacher - an English literature graduate!! - who can't write English very well. And yet she can write English well, it seems, as she goes on to list several literary achievements and awards for poetry.
In any case, Mandy's application is fairly typical of the standard we've been receiving these past 10 years or so. For every English Teacher post that we advertise, we receive an average of 50 applications, of which about 50% contain spelling mistakes in the accompanying mail and/or CV. I'm sorry, but I'm with Mr. Grumpy from Tunbridge Wells on this one: 'What ever is the world coming to?' Don't British schools teach the basics of English grammar anymore? Can anybody get a degree in English Literature these days?
Oh, and bring back spelling tests, I say.