Friday, December 16, 2011

Have Capitalization Rules Changed?

Graded papers come home from school every Thursday. We do our best to review each one. He worked hard doing them, and the teacher worked hard grading them. We also want to be aware of what he is struggling with, so we pay special attention to questions he missed on tests. Most of the time, I can figure out and understand why he got them wrong, and most of the time, it's not a big deal. Every once in a while, we see he is missing something a lot and try to work with him on whatever that issue might be.

But this week, we were both really confused. It was a multiple choice question asking which of the following had the correct capitalization for the holiday:

A: fourth of July
B: Fourth of July
C: Fourth Of July

Luke had marked answer B. The teacher had marked that as wrong and circled C as the correct answer. Um, I don't think so. At least, it wasn't that way when *I* was in school! Then again, they don't teach the Oxford comma anymore (which I obviously still use!), you shouldn't use two spaces after a period anymore (which I still do half the time), and Pluto isn't even a planet anymore, so what the heck do I know?

I poked around on the internet, and as best I could tell, "of" is correct. Then, I asked around on Facebook and Twitter. Admittedly, those are not always the most reliable sources, but I trust my friends, and if the rules *had* changed, one of them was bound to know it. Again, all agree that "of" is correct. Hmm. I didn't want to make a big deal out of it, but this was on a test! If he had the answer right, I wanted him to receive credit for it.

I certainly didn't want to sound angry or accusatory, so I sent a note to his teacher asking if there is a source showing that "Of" is correct. Maybe the key was wrong and she didn't really "read" the question, just graded them according to the key? Or maybe the rules really had changed and she could show me.

The test came back today, with a return note on it. She agreed that it was a grading mistake on her part and updated his score accordingly. Whew! I know my grammar isn't perfect, but it's nice to know I'm not losing my mind and things haven't changed *that* much since I was in school.

Currently feeling: relieved

No comments:

Post a Comment

My apologies for not allowing comments from Anonymous users. I was getting way too much spam. Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment!