Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Responsiblity to Posterity

The "erosion of the English language" that is going on in America, as if we spoke "English" in the first place, is often attributed to the internet, or a lack of high educational standards, or a lack of good teachers, etc. etc. et cetera. The people making these attributions, all the while, sit in their ivory tower sniffing brandy, quoting Faulkner, holding entire conversations with nostrils pointed at others, and making the same mistakes. I am no less guilty in some ways, since I also live in an ivory studio, partake in good scotch, quote the Simpsons (the highest of high class humor), and talk with my butt facing people behind me. Close enough. But I do try to watch my grammar and what I write.

The decline of the English language in America can not really be blamed entirely on the stupid students. If a student sees, in a university setting, a professor confusing "it's" for "its" and "weight" for "wait", that student will take on an intuitive psychological justification for not paying attention to his or her own words. Sure, said example professor can probably write correctly for a publication. "It's just a lecture," the thought goes, "so why sweat the small stuff."? In this case, the small stuff has fairly large implications. Sweat the small stuff, because if you don't, all that sweat is going to build up and we're going to have a stinking chunk of an English language in no time at all.

Remember kids: It's not its!

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