A post in another thread, referring in passing to L.M. Montgomery, reminded me of something my wife asked me recently while she was reading (for possibly the 101st time) that wonderful book "Anne of Green Gables". The question related to the word "ebullience" ... was this a commonly used word? I assured her that it was one of several variations in the noun form (W.S. Gilbert uses "ebullition" in The Gondoliers) and asked her why the question. It appears that the novel has this word featuring in a primary school (possibly Grade 7 or 8, I'm not sure) spelling bee.
Good grief! How many Grade 7 or 8 students of today would be able to cope with this? It's a bit of a worry, eh?

Incidentally, it's not just North America, Anna. I can assure you it is perhaps even worse down under. We had a kind of "backlash" regarding education quite a few years ago, and many people had this great urge to "let the kids express themselves the way they want to", never mind those old stick-in-the-mud rules about English expression and so on.

We are still suffering the effects of this absurdity here, and University entrance standards continue, necessarily, to decline. So where do we go now?

Rgds, lusy