A school in South London has issued a list of “banned” slang words to its students, including terms such as “ain’t”, “like”, “extra”, and starting sentences with “basically”.
2. The banned word list was first reported on Twitter, where most people thought it was pretty extra.
The Harris Academy in Norwood has started banning words. Fuck them obviously:
3. The words will be banned from being spoken in “formal language zones” in the school, the Croydon Guardian reports.
This refers to areas such as corridors and classrooms. It’s not clear whether pupils will face any punishment for breaching the banned words list - instead, it is suggested they will simply be “corrected”.
The Harris Academy in Upper Norwood is one of 27 primary and secondary academies in the London area run by the Harris Federation. According to the Croydon Guardian, the banned words list is one of a number of schemes being introduced coz of the academy’s new principal, Chris Everitt.
4. The academy gave a statement to the Croydon Guardian, in which they was all like:
In addition to giving students the teaching they need to thrive academically, we want them to develop the soft skills they will need to compete for jobs and university places.
This particular initiative is just one of the many ways in which we are building the vocabulary of our students and giving them the skills they need to express themselves confidently and appropriately for a variety of audiences.
5. David Lammy, Labour MP for Tottenham, says he ain’t opposed to the move:
6. Basically, he told the Daily Mail:
I think this is a very good idea. Speaking slang is fine in a social setting but a school should be a professional, educational environment and if part of that means banning slang then that’s fine by me…
The issue here isn’t about slang itself, but about the context it is used in. Language is an important part of any culture, and young people will always have their own slang.
But young people need versatility; using slang is fine in some situations, but the ability to also speak good English is absolutely crucial in any workplace, and it is something that every school should be teaching its students.