Jon Severs

To fully understand English, effing can be blinding

Yes, you may know tens of thousands of words but sometimes, says Tes editor Jon Severs, you just need a couple of well-placed expletives

To fully understand the English language, effing can be blinding

There are about 170,000 words in use in the English language, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, but over the past nine months, teachers could be forgiven if their lexical choices skewed towards those words contained under the group heading of “obscenities”.

After all, there has been considerable provocation to do so. And while some will say that reasoned argument should always be the response when faced with the kind of political, physical and ethical quandaries school staff have had to endure, there is something immediate, satisfying and impactful in simply saying it’s been “shit ...

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