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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 bégels 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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