Monday, September 27, 2010

The Death of the English Language?

So says Gene Weingarten on the Washington Post website.  He writes: "The end came quietly on Aug. 21 on the letters page of The Washington Post. A reader castigated the newspaper for having written that Sasha Obama was the "youngest" daughter of the president and first lady, rather than their "younger" daughter. In so doing, however, the letter writer called the first couple the "Obama's." This, too, was published, constituting an illiterate proofreading of an illiterate criticism of an illiteracy. Moments later, already severely weakened, English died of shame."

Further evidence: "On Aug. 6, the very first word of an article in the Winston-Salem (N.C.) Journal was 'Alot,' which the newspaper employed to estimate the number of Winston-Salemites who would be vacationing that month.  The Lewiston (Maine) Sun-Journal has written of 'spading and neutering.' The Miami Herald reported on someone who 'eeks out a living'-- alas, not by running an amusement-park haunted house. The Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star described professional football as a 'doggy dog world.' The Vallejo (Calif.) Times-Herald and the South Bend (Ind.) Tribune were the two most recent papers, out of dozens, to report on the treatment of 'prostrate cancer.'"

Hey, any article that uses the word "alas" is good by me.

You may read the whole article at

1 comment:

Rev. Eric J Brown said...

The English Language is in actuality a matter of the spoken word, which is understood completely apart from the written. All these punctuation and spelling rules are just social constructs imposed from above by self-appointed tyrants and supported by the intelligentsia as a method of attempting to establish an intellectual underclass simply on a economic basis rather than the merit of the individual thinker, the resulting linguistic regulation hindering the economic potential of the individual.

I would say, "Up with the Postmodern-Socialist-Capitalist Grammatical Revolution", but I worked in a writing center in college, so grammar has been drilled into me (and I have tried to drill it into Oklahoma hand-egg-ball players). Alas, I am part of the machine!