Main content
Sorry, this episode is not currently available

10/08/2010

Chris Ledgard presents Word of Mouth on dumbing down. We hear from the examiners who write test questions, while Joe Queenan says that people who don't like words should shut up.

Every August exam results are published, and every August newspaper headlines are filled with comments about dumbing down. But how much thought lies behind modern examination questions, and who decides the language that is used ? In Word of Mouth we hear from Edexcel's chair of history examiners Angela Leonard, and her managing director Ziggy Liaquat. The key word is accessibility, and enabling students to understand the questions they have been set. It all seems a brave new world for our presenter Chris Ledgard, who recalls stumbling through an A Level question about Bismarck's expediency, not knowing what expediency meant. Also the American critic Joe Queenan attacks the editors who insist on the use of simpler words in his books. "People who don't enjoy words should just shut up," he says. The producer is Miles Warde.

30 minutes

Last on

Mon 16 Aug 2010 23:00

Broadcasts

Download this programme

Download this programme

Subscribe to this programme or download individual episodes.

Keywords for Our Time

Keywords for Our Time

Series of programmes examining key phrases in public debate.

Smiley face: Seven things you didn't know about emoji

Smiley face: Seven things you didn't know about emoji

Some facts about emoji - possibly the world's first truly global form of communication.

The funny words that kids invent

The funny words that kids invent

Have a look at some of the fantastic words that children invent and reimagine.

Podcast