A preliminary word from Mr. Castle on his investigation of undergraduate English comes to us, strengthening the impression that the English of college men is far from what it should be. Among several suggestions for raising the standard to something near that of English universities one particular fault with the University curriculum is not mentioned.
Last December the CRIMSON published an editorial analysing at some length the question of English composition courses. There are Sophomores who are interested in English composition -- or perhaps only in their own welfare, in which the ability to use the written word clearly and accurately will play no small part. For them, unless they have secured A's or B's in English A, no course is open. Why not permit them to turn to English 22 or 31, as in the old days when one hundred and forty was an average enrollment from the second-year class? A composition course is not inevitably easy; other courses seldom pay sufficient attention to the manner of expression to take the place of one; and for the development of tentative geniuses, there would still be the limited classes, English 12 and 5. The University in the appointment of Mr. Castle to investigate undergraduate English, has proved its interest in the movement for a higher standard. To allow the mediocre man in English A the best opportunities for bettering himself in succeeding years would seem to be one of the first steps in the movement.