Education: Word of Mouth

Spice of life

PARENTS WORRIED about the corrupting influence of groups like the Spice Girls on their young children need worry no longer - if, that is, researchers at the University of York are right. They questioned girls aged six to eight about the Spice Girls and discovered that the - er - more adult aspects of these young ladies went over the children's heads. The sexual aspects and innuendos of girl-power might turn some older chaps on but six-year-old girls? No way, according to Krista Cowman and Ann Kaloski, of the Centre for Women's Studies. Sporty Spice and Baby Spice (am I really writing these names?) proved the most popular "because they behave more like eight-year-olds. Young fans feel the Spice Girls copy them and not the other way around", the researchers found. And get this: high heels were a turn-off - but tracksuits were "cool". The youngsters cocked a childish snook at Posh Spice and found her image part of an "alien adult world". Did they buy Spice Girl goods? No. They had better things on which to spend their pocket money. Any expensive Spice products turned out to be gifts from adults. And they were unsolicited at that.

Anyone for cricket? Well, not anyone

RESEARCH CONDUCTED by the Roehampton Institute and the University of East London discovered two crickets: black and Asian cricket, being played in urban areas in public parks and in a "spirit of competitiveness", and white cricket, played in rural areas, on private grounds as a social occasions - in other words, the traditional ritual of English cricket. The relationship between these two cultures is not equal, according to the authors, Ian McDonald and Sharda Ugra, whose report, Anyone for Cricket, is published by the Centre for New Ethnicities Research, University of East London, at pounds 9.95. White clubs have the power to keep out black and Asian teams from the official Sunday leagues. A kind of cricket apartheid has developed. And, as far as I am concerned, that's not cricket.

The net costs

STUDENTS AND staff of universities and colleges throughout the UK have, for a nominal subscription fee that is paid by their employers, enjoyed limitless access to the Internet from the day that it was introduced. But since last week this perk has ceased to be quite so free. Quarterly bills are to be sent to institutions from November with a fortnight's notice to pay-or-else. Non-payment could result in disconnection. I hear that those Web pages and Internet data piped to institutions from America could cost anything from 10 grand to a hundred grand a year, depending on the frequency of use. The charges will no doubt end indiscriminate net surfing. Perhaps one will have to feed 10p pieces to meters fitted to each computer. There might even be a squad of Internet police patrolling campuses to check on whether students are conducting bona fide research or playing computer games.

Alumnus? So ask

WHEN IS an alumnus not an alumnus? That, in a nutshell, is what emeritus professor David Tabor wanted to know. So he penned a letter to London University's School of Oriental and African Studies to ask. He obtained his PhD in physical chemistry from Cambridge University in 1938 and took a job at a small research laboratory near the city centre. Then came the war - and Soas was evacuated to Cambridge. At a local synagogue, the young Dr Tabor met Dr Isidor Wartski who lectured in modern Hebrew at Soas. Tabor was invited to join a few others - all Cambridge undergraduates - at a weekly seminar Wartski had organised. Did this one term at a Soas seminar make Tabor an alumnus? Itwould appear so, since the school has been sending him regular copies of its alumni newsletter.

And finally ...

I HAVE just received a short letter from an insurance company (I'll not name and shame it here). It contained more than a dozen spelling, grammatical and punctuation mistakes. Spelling errors were of quite simple words: recieved (twice), persuing, postition (twice), confrimation. If the writer was dyslexic, should not someone else have checked the letter before sending it to a client? Commas and full stops were in the wrong places. Words that had no right to be there suddenly appeared - viz "for the a up to date postition of their and claim and we anticipate confirmation". Now, let's all sigh together: "Education, education, education."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksNow available in paperback
Life and Style
The 67P/CG comet as seen from the Philae lander
scienceThe most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Arts and Entertainment
Ian McKellen as Gandalf in The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Koenig, creator of popular podcast Serial, which is to be broadcast by the BBC
tvReview: The secret to the programme's success is that it allows its audience to play detective
Ruby Wax has previously written about her mental health problems in her book Sane New World
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Education

Recruitment Genius: Qualified Nursery Practitioner - Sevenoaks

£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We currently have an opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Room Leader - Nursery

£17000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We currently have an opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Assessor / Trainer

£25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity to join ...

Ashdown Group: Payroll Manager - London - £200 p/d.

£190 - £200 per day: Ashdown Group: Payroll & Finance Manager - Covent Garden,...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas