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GRAMMAR MATTERS

9 February, 2014

I'm truly amazed at some of the writing I see on the Internet.  One would think there would be some sense of shame.  Why would anyone want, potentially, the entire world to know one can only write at the third grade level?

I’m truly amazed at some of the writing I see on the Internet. One would think there would be some sense of shame and effort to improve. Why would anyone want, potentially, the entire world to know one can only write at the third grade level?  For instance, what’s with the compulsion to add an apostrophe to every word that ends in an ‘s‘?

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3 Comments
  1. suzemagoo permalink

    I agree with your Hanlon’s Razor and with your take on individual laziness. You are addressing the individual and I’m speaking of bigger forces that render laziness and irresponsibility (willful ignorance) attractively permissible or character flaws that make for disastrous outcomes within a culture.

    The coming big shift into a new era in which information (and misinformation) becomes the economic base and discernment the coin of the realm will replace the technological era, that replaced the manufacturing era, that replaced the agricultural era. This is already very apparent.

    But I believe American religion and politics will go down fighting for their support of the poorly educated (lazy and irresponsible, if you prefer) to an inevitable reveal of how much they played an active part in creating the poorly educated for control purposes. Although American business enjoys an equally ignorant customer base, I don’t believe it has the means for creating it apart from its mostly backdoor involvement with religion and politics, most of which is to provide funding to the most aggression producers of ignorance.

    The counter balance is that Americans have been slowly shrugging off each form of oppression here, starting with the most obvious and working to the least obvious as have other cultures. It is one way to define progress. It will eventually make anti-intellectualism too difficult to justify in the same way we have seen other forms of bigotry going down – race, gender, sexual orientation, age, etc.

    Religion in the US has been at war with science since the 1900’s. It eventually loses that war or the US ceases to exist. It can be noted where on the evolutionary path any culture is by charting the progress of its religion vs science war. When the war ends with a victory for science, culture thrives and progress is in evidence. Religious victory thwarts progress — some to the point of cultural extinction. When it is not religion, it is a political system.

    American politics created the terrible decline in public education. It is no coincidence it occurs parallel to an ever increasing income disparity. The coupling of business and politics has been far more successful. History suggests that mistake only bottoms out one way.

    The internet is the game changer for its ability to provide low cost access to information. But it may be the fate of the human collective to get better educated and become wiser only to find its just a matter of unalterable time that they self extinct due to the past collective’s willful ignorance about the blue dot’s ecological system and the limited ways in which humans can sustain their existence.

    The anti-intellectualism found in America is not unique. What is unique is how powerful the American forces are that create and support willful ignorance. No other modern country on the planet in the last several centuries matches it. This is how and why it lasted so long here. It is also the predominant reason other countries/cultures are in some manner anti-American. Ignorance costs and it costs us all. American ignorance has been particularly destructive.

    I read a lot, obviously ; ) There are a number of books on this subject. The best one I’ve read to date is Susan Jacoby’s The Age of American Unreason.

    Sorry this is so long but bad grammar is but the tiniest ice chunk on the tip of an enormous iceberg melting in an ocean we are frantically busy rendering unfit for human survival. It’s all connected in one reality.

  2. suzemagoo permalink

    Dunning Kruger effect. It explains a ton of stuff. It lets them tell themselves that despite their third grade level writing skills, they know better than (fill in the blank). Proud willful ignorance prevails in America, the product of a century long prejudice that’s been carefully nurtured from many powerful sources. A strong prejudice of anti intellectualism, it is the last great bigotry in America and it hasn’t even peaked yet. At the risk of sounding like a tin foil hatted conspiracy monger, ask yourself who profits from ignorance that doesn’t know it is? Look hard and you might begin to see an orchestrated agenda.

    • I’m a believer in Hanlon’s Razor (following in the footsteps of Occam’s Razor): Never attribute to malice that which may be explained adequately by stupidity. There certainly are entities that benefit from ignorance (one somewhat removed example is the radical Muslim opposition to educating females). However, I think that it is a choice people make out of sheer laziness. It is simple to remain uninformed and spout opinion rather than reason. Your point about “proud, willful ignorance:” is well taken. “God said it, I believe it, that settles it” is but one of many examples. So much for quantum physics and the big bang. One can ignore them.

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