Selecting adjectives

The introduction of the SFU U-Pass means that many more students are on the bus everyday. I listened half-heartedly to a conversation last week about what coat the student should buy. What struck me was her inability to choose an adjective. She preferred the more expensive coat, but I’m not sure why, since “it was, like, you know.” Since her friend knew, it didn’t seem polite to turn around and admit that I didn’t know to what coat qualities she referred.

The Centre for Writing Intensive Learning has recently joined the LIDC, and a welcome addition they are! If I understand their objectives properly, they are not working on developing grammar and spelling, but on integrating more and varied writing into the curriculum. I hope that a w-course, with it’s emphasis on writing and feedback will help her express herself more specifically in the future. The practice will have to help, won’t it?

When I entered the Co-op program as a student so many years ago, the coordinator took issue with my use of the word “very.” I must have said that I have very good communication skills, and she asked what “very” actually means. “Too vague!” she said, smiling. I’ve never forgotten that small, but very specific feedback, and I do my best to prove that I exhibit effective communication skills when I: use a wiki to track projects, email confirmations of work completed, outline specific questions in a logical manner and write meandering blog postings about the use of language.


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