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Sunday, May 8, 2016

The Decline and Fall of the English Language in the Uncommonly Stupid States of America (USSA)

Perhaps you noticed the recent story about the stupendously ignorant woman on an American Airlines flight who was so concerned by the mathematical equation that her fellow passenger was scribbling on a pad that she thought up a ruse to deplane and alert the airline that he was a possible terrorist. The flight ended up being delayed for two hours, while the man in question was taken off the plane and questioned. Whereupon it came to light that he was an economics professor who was working on a mathematical equation related to a scholarly talk that he was preparing.

The woman who made the false accusation has not been identified. She was permitted to go on her way without further inconvenience to her considerably dimwitted self. But she epitomizes the impressively dumbed down, half witted American population, where the mere act of being observed writing a mathematical equation in public is now enough to get you fingered as a potential terrorist.

Sad to say, this epidemic of red-white-and-blue stupidity, which has rolled over the USSA like an all consuming tidal wave of doltish nitwittedness, can now be seen on every hand. The brainless examples multiply daily, like rabbits.

The feeble-mindedness of the average USSA individual "entity" grows by leaps and bounds, with every passing year.

The Decline and Fall of the English Language

This is nowhere better seen than in the rapid decline of English language skills, on the part of the general population. My observations are focused on the USSA, but I believe what is happening could apply equally well to other English-speaking countries, such as Australia, England, etc. and also to France, Germany, Spain and other nations, with respect to their own national languages.

It is a fact that more and more people speak too rapidly, slur their words, and sloppily and indistinctly pronounce words, or use malapropisms, which error they may then further compound by also mispronouncing the malapropisms.

This has been a noticeable trend over the course of my life.

I am wondering if this massive degeneration in language skills may be a side effect of the high rate of drug usage (legal and illegal) and alcohol consumption in today's society? Or is it merely a reflection of the declining mental capacity of the average person as more and more people fiercely compete to be stupider than the next person, in a dizzying, vertiginous, ever accelerating downward spiral to terminal, global weak-mindedness?

Vocabulary selection is rapidly becoming more and more substandard. Many people seem to think that when you set out to communicate, that one word will serve as well as another.

That theory runs into trouble exactly on this salient point: different words have different meanings. The changing of one letter or of an apostrophe completely changes the meaning of the word, and thereby the meaning of the communication. Is it any wonder that those who think most imprecisely and who spell the worst are so quick to sling the pejorative expression, "grammar NAZI," at those who do know how to spell, write and think coherently?

My first years in school were in a small, two classroom, country school, with a no nonsense teacher in charge of the first and second grade, which were both in the same classroom. We had to learn vocabulary words every week. We had written spelling tests and also oral examinations, where we had to individually stand in front of the class and spell out loud the words that the teacher would call out to us. And we were graded on that. But that was more than 50 years ago. It appears that my generation is the last literate generation. Nowadays, subliteracy is the order of the day. People wear their stupidity as a badge of honor. They positively revel in their vapid vacuousness.

I present the following list as a testimony to the growing use of "txt" messages, and the burgeoning, medieval, digital, mental landscape of "idk". I have selected these examples from stories by major news gathering organizations such as CNN, the BBC, the AP, Reuters and the like, as well as from other websites and forums on the Internet. The list could easily have been ten or twenty or thirty times as long, but then no one would bother to read it, and anyway, I would grow bored slogging through so much poorly written, verbal diarrhea.

In every instance I know the proper usage or the difference between similar words, or, indeed, if the so-called "word" is even a word at all in standard English. The same cannot be said for a great many writers today, many of whom are paid professionally to write and to publish to the Internet. Here we go:

waive or wave
cooperate or corroborate or collaborate
their or there or they're
its or it's
to or too or two
faze or phase
raze or raise
apprise or appraise
sole or soul
pole or poll
whine or wine
wit or whit
throws of death or throes of death
use to or used to
reap what you sew or reap what you sow
tow the line or toe the line
thru or threw or through
coz or cuz or because
wreck havoc or wreak havoc
nuce or noose
lose or loose
sleight or slight
rain or rein or reign
effect or affect
than or then
triump or triumph
paradyme or paradigm
kewl or cool
mass or amass 
do or due 
tho or though
your or you're
noone or no one
bizness or business
were or we're or where
bear or bare
brake or break
softwear or software
province or provenance
poche or posh
wala or voilà
old fashion or old-fashioned
stain glass windows or stained glass windows
your's or yours
their's or theirs
her's or hers
our's or ours
specie or species
let along or let alone
prolly or probly or probably
peddle or pedal
weight your words or weigh your words
I grinded a pound of coffee or I ground a pound of coffee
sheer or shear
explainer -- how about précis, sidebar, synopsis, etc.
presser -- how about press conference
lol! - sp   --- how about using a dictionary, so that you can learn to spell?
should of or should have
must of or must have
could of or could have
phenomena or phenomenon
cemetary or cemetery
meme --  how about idea, theme, concept, joke, leitmotif, buzzword, catchy phrase, etc.
break it down -- how about explain, interpret, analyze, parse, simplify, clarify, elucidate, deconstruct, etc.
by or bye or buy
layed or laid
laid or lay
lay or lie
hanged or hung
strait or straight
squash or quash
diffuse or defuse
elude or allude
disperse or disburse
rise or arise
pray or prey
perpetuate or perpetrate
pique or peak or peek
fraction or faction
track or tack
visa versa or vice versa
ekcetera or et cetera
pee or pea
cue or queue
vice or vise
advice or advise
populous or populace
Calvary or cavalry
creek or creak
trey or tray
neigh or nay
blue or blew
flue or flu or flew
flea or flee
hire or higher
cache or cash
alley or ally or allay
shoo or shoe
rouge or rogue
bow or bough
enuff or enough
tuff or tough
per say or per se
mute or moot
cite or sight or site
mite or might
linch or lynch
annals of history or annals (by itself)
was or were
sunk or sank
farther or further

I'm fine with that or that is fine with me
back in the day - - so ambiguous and fuzzily imprecise as to be almost meaningless. what day? when?

subject verb agreement - - - pathetic, like the blind leading the blind
use of the possessive case - - an ignorant chaos reigns
knowledge and use of the subjunctive - - forget it, dead on arrival

And so goes the decline and fall of the English language in the Uncommonly Stupid States of America (USSA) as the culture plunges into a medieval, digital, high-tech Dark Age of unparalleled idiocy.


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