GV Hawaii Adrift

Imagery and Language: Learning English; Adrift in Hawaii

Congress plans bailout for grammar epidemic

Posted by Josh on October 22, 2008

Hey guys! this is a very interesting news item I thought would be of interest! It’s from one of the languagelog.com, one of the blogs I read every day.

It is only natural that just months before the current administration packs up to leave the White House, various branches of government would be scurrying to set their favorite programs in concrete for the incoming president and his staff to have to address as best they can. The Department of Education is no different from the others. Since numerous self-inflicted setbacks have left the No Child Left Behind effort with a less than positive heritage, today the Secretary released a report that includes dire warnings of impending doom.

Building on the success of the administration’s past uses of what has come to be recognized as the “scare ‘em to death and they’ll do whatever we want strategy,” White House officials are now turning their attention to the grave dangers to the safety and well-being of our language. The cause of this immanent catastrophe is, of course, those pesky linguists, the libertarian destroyers of good usage who claim that, well, anything goes. According to the report, “the language problem has now reached the crisis level and we are now experiencing a severe epidemic of bad grammar that will affect the very fiber of our nation.” The Secretary added, “an alarming number of children are suffering from the bad advice given by those socialist, left-wing, atheistic linguists and we just gotta do something about it.”

Citing statistics that show that bad grammar can strike people of any age, race or ethnicity, her report goes on to say that even though a few adults and children may think their language is acceptable, they can always learn better grammar. “If your child, parent, colleague, friend, or spouse persists in error-making, let him or her know that he or she should get help,” advised the Secretary. “This is all of us’s problem,” she added. Referring to their mishandling of the past tense or to their pronoun gaffs as slovenly or uneducated and likening these to the speech of ignorant hillbillies are just two of the many effective methods that will encourage those suffering from this problem to seek treatment. Responses from the linguistic community have already begun to appear.

Although the Secretary of Education has had a long-standing partnership with the media in their joint efforts to promote good English, she hints that the major key to solving this problem may be legislation. Congress is now contemplating a multi-billion-dollar bail out for the language crisis.

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