[Paras 7, 8]: [Dr Andrew Hodges] He explains: “Most people seem to remember maths as their worst subject and have developed a mental block about it. So there will be a lot of areas about which they know nothing. Everyone who tries to popularise maths understands they are going to come up against this, but most choose to ignore it and carry on regardless. I felt it was important to address this barrier between writer and reader head on.”.
Which is easier said than done, when you realise just how limited many people’s maths often is. Only last week, Camelot had to withdraw one of its scratchcards when loads of punters complained that they couldn't understand why − 9 was a lower number than − 8. For Hodges, the real battleground is the syllabus at key stages 3 and 4, where the ante gets upped from relatively straightforward maths to something altogether more complicated: an uneasy hybrid of the Athenian Euclidian abstract logic that was so appealing to the Victorian gentry and the relentless grind of long calculation that has its roots in the pre-computer era when bosses needed clerks to keep books and ledgers with metronomic accuracy.
I'm trying to determine which of the 2 bolded words is used as criticism in the quote. I wrongly picked battleground, but the answer is grind. Thus, would someone please explain any nuances or oversights about these words? Also, did I choose the right definition for grind? My guess is:
grind = 2. Hard dull work
How's this criticism? The passage just refers to a process necessary 'in the pre-computer era'?
Wouldn't battlefield signify criticism? In the passage, Hodges criticises the syllabus at key stages 3 & 4?