Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Ever Lowering Expectations

After eight years of George W. Bush's assault on not only civil liberty but English language as well, it was reasonably hopeful that we were entering a new era with vast improvement in both fronts.

Well, there were changes for sure and some improvement but not nearly enough.

Not only Guantánamo detention camp is still in full operation, but the assault on English language has changed from mangled words to ignoring the rules of grammar and deliberate twist meanings of phrases.

Obama's biggest offense to date is still his most infamous arm wrestling with the phrase "too... to..." and I wonder if the new generation would ever understand how to use this phrase correctly after his ghastly incorrect way to describe faulting banks in need of bailing out as "too big to fail".

New, a new offense, minor one, admittedly.

Associated Press reported that Obama says he would resign if he were Weiner. San Francisco Chronicle detailed his comments:
President Barack Obama, increasing pressure on Rep. Anthony Weiner to quit, said Monday that "I can tell you that if it was me, I would resign."
I was once again incredulous.  I asked a friend of mine, who graduated from the exalted University of California, Berkeley with English degree and was told that though grammatically speaking, President Obama was wrong.  He should have said "if it were me".  But, according to my friend, that the correct way has been seen as literal, mannered and bookish and colloquially, people usually say it the way President Obama did, the grammatically incorrect way.

I was flabbergasted.  I think there is a debate in the nation regarding the lowered expectation brew generations of lower achievers.

One would hope that a president would have set up a better example.  Is it his hope that by speaking folks' language, therefore, more people would choose him to have beer with?

It is quite disappointing and disconcerting.

The assault on civil liberty and English language has continued.

By the way, happy Flag Day.  Or is it Flagellation Day?


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