Draw your mind back to your English lessons: dwell on all those dubious book choices you were dragged though and all the amazing novels you couldn’t wait to get to class to learn more about; remember all of those frustrating red marks scuttling across your essay; recall the fairly meaningless comment scrawled at the bottom of the creative paper you’d spend a week writing; consider the utter confusion you felt when your teacher tried to explain the difference between a comma and a semi-colon, when they quite clearly didn’t have a clue themselves (“a comma is where you take a breath”, “a semi-colon is where you take a longer breath or change the subject slightly . . . no, not like a full-stop” for Goodness sake!).

Surely in all those years of English lessons we learnt something useful, something that sticks with us.

Do you have a gem that you DO remember from your English lessons?

Do you have a particularly wonderful/amusing English class story to share?

What lesson do you remember and still apply religiously to your writing?

Here you can read Kurt Vonnegut’s more appealing approach to writing – how does it differ from the approaches you were taught?


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