F (Fail) = N (Nearly)

Bapopik at AOL.COM Bapopik at AOL.COM
Sun Sep 28 05:10:23 UTC 2003

   For the OED, which is revising the letter "N" entries.
   Fail?  There's no such word as "fail."  Why, I don't even know the meaning
of the word "fail."

   27 September 2003, NEW YORK POST, pg. 19, cols. 3-4:
      _Rue, Britannia_
   IN Britain, where the kinder, gentler approach to education holds sway,
students sitting the nationwide examinations in English, math and science will
no longer be permitted to fail.  As of this year's exams, the previous grade of
"F" for "fail" will be replaced by "N" for "nearly."  Similarly, individual
answers in the math exam are no longer to ge graded as correct or incorrect,
but as "credit-worthy" or "not credit-worthy."
   Pressed by a reporter, the spokeman for the government's Qualifications
and Curriculum Authority allowed that, yes, "not credit-worthy" would then mean
"wrong."  He left the impression, though, that this hurtful truth would be
kept hidden from students.
   --_The editors of National Review, writing in the Ocr. `3 issue_.

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