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28 May 2008

At Least It Wasn't an Aural Exam

On the Beeb: English students at Cambridge University have been asked to analyse lyrics by singer Amy Winehouse in a final-year exam.

Gosh, surely not popular culture in a Cambridge exam? What is the world coming to? I can just imagine what a dude(tte) the examiner must have thought s/he was when s/he wrote that question. I probably would have enjoyed such a question, though, because I do love songs for their lyrics, although if I could have chosen my own song. It's a moot point really as I wouldn't have sat a practical crit exam because I wouldn't have studied English and I loathe writing practical crits.

I don't think I ever had a question involving pop culture although I would always scour the Beeb and the InterTubes at large for 15 minutes on the morning of the exam and seize any great items I could use in the exam to show how topical I was (I believe it was announced that "chavtastic" was entering the dictionary on the day of my third year history and structure of English exam so I plonked it in as an example of the extension of a suffix from being used in one word (fantastic) into a productive suffix used in a number of other words (chavtastic, craptastic, muptastic...). Linguistics is just so relevant.

Oh, and there was that French listening exam one year of which the opening minute of the ten-minute video we had to watch involved Eminem's White America. It was, of course, about l'antiamericanisme of la France and how dare these Yanks bring their rappeurs and their b├ęgels over here? I was just seriously regretting I had turned up the volume on my headset quite so high. I can't remember whether this was in the final exam or not, but I definitely remember an Italian translation I had to do on sex toys. Ah the languages faculty... Given some recent Local News, that's probably not very funny.

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