Friday, January 4, 2013

Moronics Made Easy

Being what some people would call a writer, I have an affinity for the English language.

I like its intricacy, the way there are seemingly an endless number of ways to describe an emotion, a gut feeling or a passion.

One of the great atrocities heaped upon the English language was when the bozos in charge of deciding what should be taught in public schools injected math into English class by introducing the concept of diagramming a sentence. I don’t know if it’s still done, but I’d rather see my kids taught to eat garbage than to learn to break down a sentence into subjects, adjectives and adverbs.

A , it’s boring as hell. B, it’s teaching English as though it were a mathematical equation. Noun plus verb plus adverb equals sentence.

To quote Charlie Brown as he again whiffs on the football, “Aaaaagh.”

Should a child be able to identify nouns and verbs, adjectives and adverbs? Sure. Should it be done as if he or she were trying to produce the answer to xy + 2b = s6?

Nyet, with a capital NY.

In fact, when I had to go through the process of diagramming sentences in eighth-grade English class, I can assure you I was thinking of diagramming the potential ways of decapitating my teacher, Mrs. Ramsey. Looking back, I can’t blame her. She was probably just as pissed having to teach that nonsense as I was having to learn it. She, however, had the bonus of being able to drink herself into a stupor every night to try and forget such stool.  I only had Mom’s cookies and prime time television. Hardly an equal trade-off.

To me, a sentence has nouns and verbs, but there’s no formulaic process for creating a good one. As you find out when you start reading wordsmiths like Steinbeck, Joyce and Faulkner, sentences are like Play- Dough – they can be twisted in a million ways and made to resemble anything. It’s got nothing to do with formulas, and it can be kick-ass great or piss-poor pig droppings.

Short story long, I like the English language.

So I get positively homicidal when knuckleheads screw it up.

If you want to see, up close and personal, the hatchet job being done on our language, read any story online and then scroll down to check out the public responses which are now, unfortunately, integral to any such posting.

Textspeak aside, if these opinions represent the intelligence level of the general public, perhaps, in the spirit of the long-thankfully-departed Ebonics, America should be congratulated for creating a new bastardized language. This one’s called Moronics.

Here’s a favorite: “How can you say that about are Flyers?”

Really? Are Flyers?

“Are” is a verb. “Our,” which I presume was the word that was supposed to be used in this context, is an adjective.

There are pairs of oxen in India someplace who know the difference.

Here’s another gem: “That’s really to much money to spend.”

To , two, too, which are closely related to that other often bollocksed-up trio, there, their and they’re. Once again, if you actually attended school for about 20 minutes and did something other than draw tanks and airplanes on your loose leaf, you know the difference. Unfortunately, far too many nimrods (about two billion or so) believe those three words are interchangeable. Worse yet, that same faction of pinheads don’t believe the improper use of those words should be corrected.

“Do you understand what I mean?” they’ll grunt, in a tone best resembling Og the Caveman asking for directions to the nearest wooly mammoth. “That’s all that matters.”

No, chucklehead, that’s not all that matters.

These are words, the ultimate means of expression. If you can’t demonstrate a little intelligence, how about a little respect?

If a celebrity dies or dyes on Easter Sunday, you’d better know whether said star has colored eggs or met his maker before you report it on the news. Actually, both would probably be the lead story on “Access: Hollywood.”

The point is, the number of words you’ll use in your lifetime will likely outnumber the steps that you take or the amount of money you’ll spend. They can help, heal, hurt or alert you to a falling piano plummeting toward your head. They can get you killed, get you laid and get you out of as much trouble as they can get you in.

They can describe a game-winning goal, a stunning woman or a ghastly murder. And when they’re put together properly they can transport you to another world, hilariously tell off a nagging salesman or incite you to defend your country.

With that kind of potency, language should not be bastardized because some dolt never took the time to properly use it and it shouldn’t be analyzed like it was the Pythagorean Theorem.

In other werds, stooped, git im write oar dont uze im at awe.






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