Quotes for Writers (and people who like quotes) Philip Pullman on what back to basics really means
We often hear politicians talks about the basics, by which they mean the ability to spell correctly and write grammatically. But that’s not basic at all. You can correct that sort of thing at the last minute. What is truly basic is the attitude to language that you get from the way you’re brought up into it. If the people who look after you sing nursery rhymes and share little clapping games and finger plays, if they look at picture books with you and don’t rush through with one eye on the watch but take their time and talk with you about what’s going on in the pictures, then the attitude you’re likely to have towards language will be that you trust it and find it exciting and full of possibilities and fun, something to play with and speculate with and take risks with and delight in.
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