Take back your rights!

Blog of personal philosophy, advocating liberty.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Journalists go to school?

Among biased and partisan newspapers, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is as biased and partisan as they come, but it is even less literate than, say, the over-rated New York Times or the loathesome Washington Post.
Here is a headline in the AJC, 1 May 2006: "Georgia's season of unhealthy air."
Since we all need and appreciate air, I was sorry to learn it was ill.
I wondered if it was ill because of allergies, hence the "season" in the headline, or if it was ill because it had caught some kind of flu -- and avian flu would seem very likely since air, at least around here, is just full of birds.
Or, I suddenly realized, perhaps it was unhealthy because of an accident.
No, it was none of the above. It turned out the air was not really unhealthy; it was not destined to be hospitalized, or even to have to go to a clinic or a doctor's office.
No, the air was merely a victim of semi-literate "editors."
What the raggedy "news"paper should have said was that the air was "unhealthful," that it was allegedly full of pollutants, such as, perhaps, the fog emitted by semi-literate writers and editors.
Like the good, mind-numbed robots so prevalent throughout the "news" media, the AJC is in lock-step with the drumbeat against "the epidemic of obesity," and shrieks in horror that school-age young'uns have -- well, "had," since today, 4 May, there seems to be a new decree -- access to such poison as (gasp) Coca-Cola -- which, interestingly enough, was born and bred in Atlanta.
Yet that those same children are being fed a terrible education does not seem to matter very much. There are no shrieking "news" stories or editorials decrying the poison being fed in the guise of "facts" and information from the government schools.
And why should it? If those kids really did learn to read and write, they would never subscribe to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

3 Comments:

  • At 2:11 AM, Anonymous Robert Nanders said…

    Quite the grammar Nazi, aren't we? Or are we forgetting that usage is as usage does, and your ways of speaking might we well outmoded in 100 years. In the end, does it really matter, and is it worth getting upset over?

    Hardly, especially since their usage is accepted as standard, and even were it not, they'd have the damndest right to use and abuse their language as they like - because after all, that's how our language got to be the way it is today.

    Foo, language purists.

    But by the way, I share your indignation at the general theme of the news article you cite.

     
  • At 5:03 PM, Blogger Michael Morrison said…

    You might be a grammar Nazi (you did say "we"), but I'm not any kind of Nazi.
    Does it matter?
    Of course, because when we communicate incorrectly, we don't really communicate.
    Is it worth getting upset over?
    Probably.
    Not worrying about errors, whether of grammar or of political philosophy, allows more errors.
    More errors allows (and, yes, that is correct grammar) still more errors, resulting in eventual chaos.
    There is a difference between chaos and anarchy, which I generally support (as anarchism).
    Finally, just because some phrase or word usage is "accepted" as standard doesn't mean it really is correct.
    Or even intelligent.
    For many years, in and around Atlanta, it was generally accepted as "standard" that blacks must live separately from whites.
    Before that it was "accepted" that blacks bought and sold were property and the owners had "the damndest right to use and abuse their" property as they liked.
    Fortunately we have learned better.
    I can hope that if enough people learn to care about accuracy, learn to care about right and wrong, in grammar as well as in political philosophy, we can become a free people -- and be able to discuss the issues and communicate the ideas ... accurately.
    Thank you for visiting and for writing.

     
  • At 11:47 PM, Blogger Imprez said…

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