27 September 2015


This is the front of a booklet written by my five-year-old granddaughter, Elsie. Can you read it?

In fact, it says 'Goldilocks and the Three Bears'. To understand it, you have to realise that she gets 'd' and 'b' confused, and she just uses a single letter for 'the'. In addition, she seems to have 'f' at the start of 'three'.

This kind of creative writing, spelling things out as best she can and guessing at words she doesn't know, is actually highly encouraging. It shows she is understands the principles of phonics rather well. In time, she will sort out 'd' and 'b' and the standard spelling of all words.


I recently saw this notice on a glass door at UBD:

The usual wording would be 'CAUTION', not 'CAUTIOUS'. (In fact, the sign has now been corrected.)

But why? CAUTION is a noun, while CAUTIOUS is an adjective. So, why is a noun expected here, not an adjective? In fact, CAUTIOUS seems just as (un)grammatical as CAUTION.

My conclusion is that CAUTION is expected simply because that is the convention, and appeals to logic or grammaticality make no sense.