Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Grouch Gets Poked Once Too Often

And he starts to snarl.

The little angel on his left shoulder (yeah, I picked left on purpose) says "Be nice.  Everybody has a right to express themselves in their own way."

The little devil on his right shoulder (in the 21st century US, the devil is on the right, trust me) says "Yeah, sure, but dammit, why can't they use a spell-checker, or at least give enough of a damn to want to know if they're sounding like a half-wit?"

Am I speaking of anyone in particular?  No, I wish it were that simple.

MySpace, Facebook, blogs and public forums of all stripe are filled with such obvious examples of the failures of the US's education system.

Far right wingnuts demand "English-only" speech, but can't manage simple English on their posters at demonstrations.

Far left folks get just as bad at times because rules are for "tools" and so they flout them willfully.  Sometimes. Sometimes artfully.

A tangent:  I had a couple of wise teachers in high school ("Hi Pat!, hi Carol!") who in their own ways let me know that I was only allowed to break the rules after I had demonstrated that I understood them.

We all make mistakes.  But they shouldn't be a lifestyle.

We have so, SO many ways to communicate these days, but the discourse is deteriorating, and I'm so disheartened.

I need to be clear about this note:  As I noted many months ago when I started this blog, if English isn't your first language and you're trying to make yourself heard, GO FOR IT!  But if English is the only language you've ever known and you're still butchering it, you're insulting yourself and the language you're supposed to be fluent in.

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