How Dumb Are We?
I keep seeing the “Man on the Street” interviews that late night talk show hosts have on now and then. I have to wonder about the world these folks live in.
I am not going to begrudge someone because they know all the “Dancing with the Stars” contestants. And I certainly don’t expect them to know the names of the president’s cabinet or the heads of state around the world.
But it would seem that they might know the name of the Vice President or at least recognize his picture.
Asking people what they think about Sarah Palin being Barrack Obama’s running mate in the next election and them being OK with that says something.
Can We Even Form Complete Sentences?
You would think after four hundred plus years we would speak better — not worse. People in Shakespeare's time had working vocabularies of around 54,000 words.
The working vocabulary of the average American today is 3,000 words. Or, 2,999 if you want to remove “awesome.”
Try reading the words of the founding fathers. The Federalist Papers would be a good place to start. No one speaks like that anymore.
In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson wrote,
“But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”
Over seventy percent of Americans reading that today would have no idea what Jefferson was even talking about. “Usurpations,” “evinces,” “Despotism?”
Does Jefferson sound like the kind of guy you’d like to have a beer with?
Did I just end a sentence with a preposition?
Some Finals Thoughts
I realize that I am the last person on earth who should be giving grammar or communication criticism to anyone.
But the next time you want to, “kick the can down the road,” or “hook-up,” or use “at this point in time,” or determine that, “at the end of the day,” something will happen — Please Stop. You’re just embarrassing yourself.
I hate to break it to you but nothing, and I mean nothing, is “awesome.” Well, your Mom maybe.