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Total Dictation 2014 at the HSE

On April 12, 2014, Total Dictation took place at the HSE – an all-Russian event to check literacy. Those interested in checking their level of Russian grammar skills participated in 350 cities spread over 45 countries. HSE campuses were among some of the venues used for this dictation.

Total Dictation is an annual event aimed at drawing attention to the issues of literacy and developing the culture of grammatically accurate writing. Anyone interested can participate, regardless of gender, age and level of Russian.

This year saw the 11th Total Dictation, and over 50,000 people participated in it. The text for the dictation is written every year by renowned Russian writers. For example, in previous years it has been prepared by Boris Strugatsky, Dmitry Bykov, Zakhar Prilepin, and Dina Rubina. This year Alexey Ivanov, best known for his novel The Geographer Drank His Globe Away (Geograf globus propil) prepared the text.

Valeria Kasamara, Director for corporate projects: ‘This is the second year that the HSE has hosted Total Dictation. In 2013 about 100 people attempted the dictation here. Some of them came with their families, which seems a brilliant tradition to me. And this time the HSE welcomed participants at two locations in Moscow (212 people), and in Nizhny Novgorod (200 people). The general cultural level includes the ability to express one’s thoughts grammatically both orally and in writing. But there is widespread popular belief that today’s consumerist youth culture has largely changed these benchmarks, and literacy now belongs to nerds and bores. The Total Dictation organizers are seeking to destroy these stereotypes and make literacy fashionable again, and we totally support their initiative.’

All entries will be checked by philologists within a week of the competition, and the results will be published on the project’s website. Every participant will have the opportunity to get back his corrected paper and a certificate of their level of literacy. The highest scorers in the Total Dictation event will be given prizes at an awards ceremony.

Maria Glazyrina, third-year student of the Faculty of Law, intern at the HSE News Service

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