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recount vs account (UK usage question)

Posted: Tue Nov 29, 2005 11:56 pm
by adamsargant
I have a slight issue with language usage at my daughter's school. She has been asked (age 10) to write a recount(sic) of her experiences on a school trip. "My Recount of Robin Wood".

My understanding is that recount can be used as a verb, to recount events but not as a noun in this context. The correct usage would be to ask the kids to write "My Account of Robin Wood"... am I correct in this?

recount vs account (UK usage question)

Posted: Wed Nov 30, 2005 1:18 am
by Erik_Kowal
Adam, I agree with your perception of the normal usage. It sounds as though your daughter's teacher does not have a very strong grasp of English him/herself.

For what it's worth, the most precise title for this project would be "An account of my trip to Robin Wood" or "My account of our trip to Robin Wood". "My account of Robin Wood" implies a description of Robin Wood, not of a trip to visit it.

recount vs account (UK usage question)

Posted: Wed Nov 30, 2005 5:15 pm
by Edwin Ashworth
Adam, if the trip was anywhere near Nottingham, I'd query the teacher's knowledge of history and geography too.

recount vs account (UK usage question)

Posted: Wed Nov 30, 2005 6:19 pm
by adamsargant
Thanks Erik... the saddest thing is that when I approached my daughter's teacher, she pulled out the National Literacy Strategy, which is where the use of the term came from.

http://www.standards.dfes.gov.uk/litera ... ar5/term1/

I have written to my MP and to the school's head mistress (who would have thought in my rebellious youth that I would be writing disgruntled of tunbridge wells letters:-) ? ), but what hope is there if the National Literacy Strategy is incorrect in its usage of English, and if English teachers do not notice:-(

I forgave the "An account of my trip to Robin Wood" in the face of what I considered to be the greater sin

Edwin, LOL :-)

recount vs account (UK usage question)

Posted: Wed Nov 30, 2005 6:41 pm
by dalehileman
Adam: Leftpondwise, for what it's worth, my immediate reaction was like yours and Erik's. For the most part, by recount we mean to recall or bring to mind in order to pass along, usu verbally, as a witness in a trial. My Webster's Collegiate doesn't even give this usage as a noun

recount vs account (UK usage question)

Posted: Wed Nov 30, 2005 10:30 pm
by adamsargant
Hi Dale... I didn't really imagine it would be different in US usage, but I was being specific about UK usage because I have already taken her previous teacher to task for handing out a list of US spellings for the children to learn... it turned out that she had taken the words directly from the internet. While I am cool about the migration of language and the increased speed with which that is happening, this was an unacceptable degree of sloppiness in my opinion. Oh, that and the fact that the previous week's spellings included words like where, there, their etc, while that week's were words like understorey!!!

I'm almost hoping I'm getting a bit of a reputation;-)

recount vs account (UK usage question)

Posted: Thu Dec 01, 2005 1:47 am
by dalehileman
I hope well deserved but favorable

recount vs account (UK usage question)

Posted: Thu Dec 01, 2005 4:57 am
by minjeff
Shouldn't that be "favourable," Dale?

recount vs account (UK usage question)

Posted: Thu Dec 01, 2005 6:33 am
by Erik_Kowal
I visited the page to which you linked, Adam, and under the heading 'Range' for that particular age group, the following is specified:

Non-Fiction: (i) recounts of events, activities, visits; observational records, news reports etc. (ii) instructional texts: rules, recipes, directions, instructions, etc. showing how things are done.

The valid choice here in idiomatic English is either "accounts of events, activities, visits..." or "the recounting of events, activities, visits...", in accordance with your original posting.

It sounds as though both your daughter's teacher and the person who wrote the snippet cited need to be shown "how things are done".

recount vs account (UK usage question)

Posted: Thu Dec 01, 2005 9:24 am
by Edwin Ashworth
Robin Wood was famously stripped of his peerage and branded an outlaw, but he was later pardoned and recounted.

recount vs account (UK usage question)

Posted: Thu Dec 01, 2005 9:35 am
by Phil White
My Recount of Robin Wood
It's still two. I've recounted and checked my figures several times, but it's still two.

(See below for the numbers!)

recount vs account (UK usage question)

Posted: Thu Dec 01, 2005 9:40 am
by Phil White
On an entirely different issue, I guess that the visit was to one of the two Robinwood (sic) Activity Centres, in which case perhaps the teacher should also chek her speling.

recount vs account (UK usage question)

Posted: Thu Dec 01, 2005 2:07 pm
by Bobinwales
It strikes me that Adam's daughter's teacher is not going to enjoy teaching Adam's daughter,unless of course she pulls her socks up. Well done Adam keep at it.

recount vs account (UK usage question)

Posted: Thu Dec 01, 2005 4:37 pm
by dalehileman
dalehileman wrote:
Originally posted by minjeff
Shouldn't that be "favourable," Dale?
Believe it or not that occurred to me as I wrote it. I was rendered by indecision

recount vs account (UK usage question)

Posted: Sat Dec 03, 2005 8:53 pm
by Edwin Ashworth
In this age of computer games, Robin Wood probably doesn't hold the same fascination for kids, that I remember. Even the later development once a favourite in our area, copse and robbers, is merely a memory.