Release The Hounds!

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Saturday, November 12, 2005

Irregardless, This May Explain The Defeat Of The California Election Initiatives

Fortune 500 companies spend $3 billion (that's with a "b") per year teaching basic English to its employees. This has always been a pet peeve of mine with the question circulating constantly how can someone who made it through elementary school, four years of college and, in some instances, three years of post-grad still not know how to properly conjugate verbs, pronounce words or string several coherent sentences together. I've had associates in my law firm advise me that they wanted to "axe" a question (I've resisted saying something like, give it a chance before you kill it), pronounce "demurrer" as "demure" and not understand the distinction between "imply" and "infer." I have a few theories...none fully formed yet. One is that if no one ever corrects you, how will you know you are wrong? The second is the constant use of improper language, syntax and pronunciation in the media and popular culture. When all you hear are insipid lyrics ("Where dey at? Where dey at?"), talk ("If I had only knew what was happening..."), and the substitution of "Ya know what I'm sayin'" for actually knowing what you are saying, it will have an effect.

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