random stuff

Grammatical Faux Pas

redbull I’m drooping.

And I can’t droop. I need to stay awake so I can wrap presents, go order some pies (because I don’t bake pies – edible pies anyway), pick up the kids, answer emails, update websites, grab something fast for dinner and pack the family into my Vibe so we can go enjoy MK’s band concert at the school tonight.

*Yawn* I don’t have time to be sleepy today.

So, I’m chugging some Red Bull.

Actually, I’ve been asked not to leave the house today. The husband is expecting his new guitar that he ordered from eBay to come today and we’re not sure if I’ll have to sign for it because it’s a huge package. So, I’m stuck at home.

Which is fine on any day when I DON’T have to stay home but the days I HAVE to stay home? I go stir crazy. Why is that?

I was going to post some fiction today, but meh, I’m feeling too lazy for that so I’ll post something that I heard on the radio this morning.

Apparently, our newly selected education secretary made a grammatical faux pas.

Barack Obama’s newly selected education secretary may need to visit a grammarian before he takes on the American education system. During his introductory remarks in Chicago today, Arne Duncan, the outgoing Chicago public schools chief, mixed up his personal pronouns. His elementary school teacher is cringing somewhere.

Find the error: “I want to thank our mutual friend John Rogers who has been a mentor and friend to me since I was ten years old. He gave my sister and I the opportunity to start a great school in the South side of Chicago…”

Answer: He should have said “my sister and me” instead of “my sister and I.”

And this guy is going to be our education secretary? Wow. Scary, isn’t it?

And please, don’t give me “he’s only human, cut him some slack” argument because yes, he’s human and if he had said that in casual conversation it wouldn’t have been that big of a deal. In fact, most of us probably wouldn’t have caught the slip. And OF COURSE, I make the same grammatical errors – we all do.

BUT, this man is supposed to be representing our education system. And when he makes blunders like this, it makes us look bad, not to mention, sets a bad example to our children. Whenever someone holds an esteemed office like that, we naturally expect more out of them. We expect them to set standards, to be an example, to at least master third-grade grammar.

And it’s a speech that he’s reading to top it off. Did no one proofread it? And even if the proofreaders didn’t catch it, why didn’t our newly elected education secretary catch it?

It’s sort of scary, if you want the truth.

And yes, I realize that plenty of politicians have made semantic blunders – look at President Bush, he’s definitely had his fill of mistakes. We SHOULD expect more from people who have chosen to step into an “expert” position of some sort. We SHOULD hold them to higher standards given the responsibilities of their job.

For example a policemen. Wouldn’t you expect a policeman to know how to use a gun? Or a fireman how to turn on a hose? Or an accountant to know how to crunch numbers? Or a teacher to know his/her subject?

Then why is it too much to expect our new education secretary to know basic grammar rules?

I’m just saying.

The DJ on the radio show was having a fit over this. One woman called in and tried to excuse the education secretary by saying, “Well, he’s human, we all make mistakes.” And the DJ hung up on her. (!) A little girl called in and said, “If I turned a paper in like that to my teacher, she would have given me a bad grade!”

Another guy called in and said, “Now Woody, (that’s the name of the DJ), I’m surprised at you. You’re missing the bigger picture here. Be thankful that the guy was speaking English at all and not some other foreign language.”


Oh, and I’m just curious, how many of you heard about this before now? I’m wondering if the media picked up on this or if they turned the other cheek like they normally do whenever something less than flattering happens to a Democrat.

At any rate, this is what we have to look forward to in the coming years, I suppose. It may seem like I’m picking on the Democrats and true, it’s no secret that I’m certainly not a big fan of Democratic platforms, but they’re in office now so they are going to have to take the crap that is sure to be dished out to anyone who’s in the public eye.

And quite honestly, I think ALL public figures, regardless of their political backgrounds, should be closely watched. They are working for US. They need to be accountable.

Anyway, I thought that was an interesting random tidbit to pass on to you today. I’m all about the random lately. Is anyone else finding it hard to focus on anything? Is it the holidays? Aargh, it’s frustrating.

The Red Bull is starting to kick in and I can feel a surge of energy coming so I think I’ll ride the wave and get some stuff done.

How is your Thursday going?

4 thoughts on “Grammatical Faux Pas”

  1. I agree with holding people in higher positions to a higher standard. I was tempted to use the “he’s only human” argument – until you mentioned that he was reading the speech. There is no excuse for that.

    On another subject, I love the picture of the Red Bull can. It made my day!

  2. Well said, Jenx88. I absolutely agree – it’s all about setting standards. We get sloppy at the top, it has no where to go but down from there.

    Thanks for stopping by!

  3. I randomly came across your blog, and I completely agree with everything you said about our new secretary of education. I am a correct grammar enthusiast, and it is extremely irritating when individuals do not take the few minutes necessary to proofread their writing. As you said, it would be completely different had he only said this in a conversation, but when you are able to read over a speech BEFORE presenting it, there is simply no excuse. I am glad someone else feels it is unacceptable. An astounding number of teenagers are quitting school or simply not putting as much effort into their studies. We need positive, hard-working, and intelligent role models for these students. The secretary may have high levels of intelligence, but he needs to realize he will be in the constant eye of the public for the next few years and act accordingly.

    Great post!

Comments are closed.