Monday, November 26, 2007
The lingua franca is disappearing. Trying to make allowances for immigrants by accepting a lower standard of English usage is destroying the language on both sides of the equation. It is dummying down the whole country to accept a new substandard of abbreviated jargon which leaves everyone hampered, handicapped even. Our children (not mine) are feverishly thumbing their way through digital cyberspace on their text messaging devices, using the latest hip short cuts to express their notions that only the esoterically advanced have even a hope of comprehending.
On the one hand we have Andrei Codrescu the Romanian essayist and poet who has come here and mastered the language to the point where he teaches English and uses it with remarkable eloquence. On the other we have corporate representatives who do not check and never even conceived of the idea of reviewing something or having someone else check it before hanging it out for all to see, and for the most part never even notice its ignorant comedic offensiveness.
It is enough to make one “real angry”. Leaving the L Y off the end of the adverb is so commonplace now that I hear school teachers at the private school, from which our two youngest have now been removed in favor of home schooling, trotting out this qualifier routinely. For example, while driving back to Los Angeles after our Thanksgiving in Redding, we saw this sign at the Chevron Station in Pixley. Ironically there was a help wanted sign at the entrance. Look again and see how many errors have been made in this simple attempt to be helpful. This is the side of Chevron Corporation we see directly dirty lavatories and runaway inflationary priced fuel, all run by semi illiterates. You would think that there would be an established protocol for all signage at a corporately sponsored facility.
The price of the gasoline is sky high, but the standards are rock bottom. All that matters is the dollar $ign.
“Door Locked When Occupied” would have been cheaper. The final tragedy is that some one engineered the sign. Our standards are surely under attack.