Gravesend, the headquarters of Etc, is an industrial town on the bank of the Thames. The name wrongly suggests `graves’ when it should have been `groves’. The name means `place at the end of the grove’. The original grove was perhaps located to the east of Gravesend where the Fort Gardens are now. Would the town be better liked if it had been called `Grovesend’? This last name brings up a picture of rolling orchards, gentle walks and a tranquil sleepy town.
How would we regard the 11 Plus if the name 11 Minus had been adopted. Would this make us think of all the children who had failed rather than those who have passed? How about 11 First? We could then dream of our children obtaining first class honours degrees on graduation. What about 11 Hundred? `If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a hundred times.’ Familiar words to all parents.
Perhaps we can apply to our councils to have a `style counsellor’ look over the words Eleven Plus. A style counsellor would be able to dictate what is and what is not a fashionable term for an examination at the age of eleven. We could have different names for the 11+ in all the towns and districts offering 11+ examinations. This could help to make the 11+ a little more confusing for parents. After all helping children through the 11+ examination does bring all of us nearer to the grave