, the Underground Grammarian
was in full swing, madly accosting
and other morons
, tearing apart everything they wrote and, through his publications
, screaming to us that these people are idiots
Only a few years later, the real science started to come out in favor of the Grammarian. Language, it turns out, and the expressions of language (speaking and writing) do say something about thinking -- as well as having an impact upon thinking.
I don't agree with some that the arbitrary quality we've chosen to call "intelligence" defines how advanced a person is in terms of thought, action and emotion, but thinking sure does. Not every star of mankind has been intelligent--not all of them could do complicated math or play seven musical instruments. But they could all think. And, unfortunately for some, we now know damn well that sloppy writing means sloppy thinking.
What about writing is linked with thinking, you ask? I didn't feel like inventing a whole list to be connotatively picked apart, so I went and got one from the Ontario Ministry of Education. Writing, they say, involves the following aspects of thought:
"...questioning, hypothesizing, interpreting, inferring, analysing, comparing, contrasting, evaluating, predicting, reasoning, distinguishing between alternatives, making and supporting judgements, synthesizing, elaborating on ideas, identifying values and issues, detecting bias, detecting implied as well as explicit meanings."
Well, in spite
of their slightly pedantic wording
, those sure look like thinking skills
to me; and I can certainly
vouch for their presence in writing
I don't put this here as some sort of elitist jerk-off
to make fun of everybody who's ever misspelled ingenuity
, nor am I doing this to make literary geeks
look better--they usually look pretty good on their own. Or at least their sentence structure
I'm putting this here because the simple postulate that sloppy writing means sloppy thinking can be a wonderful bullshit detector, especially in these relatively educated times, when your average Joe is perfectly capable of criticizing the writings of those supposedly in power: Microsoft. The Moral Majority. Uncle Sam. THEM. You know who I'm talking about.
Well, guess what? They're really horrible writers. If we all keep in mind, not even as it applies to us but as it applies to those who try to rule us, that writing is just thoughts filtered through a pen, I think it'll suddenly become a lot easier for us to spot the moronicisms the wannabe-kings are always feeding us.
When the Governor sends you a mailing, read it. I found seven stupid errors in the last one I got, and that told me worlds about exactly where the Governor and his lackeys are being stupid or just blowing smoke. When you see a billboard, read it for grammar. Does it misuse an apostrophe? Would you want to hire a company or work for a cause that spends a couple mil for a billboard and can't bother to check the grammar in all three lines of text? Me neither. I agree that correcting people's grammar while they're talking is obnoxious unless they're your own five-year-old child. But, once again, the trend got so far into not pissing anyone off that it began to ignore a powerful tool that us "regular people" could be using to keep a leash on The Empire.
Give me a President who could write a novel over these yahoos any day!