Talking the talkMarch 15, 2011 at 8:51 am | Posted in Bush, crooks & liars, irony, modern trends, social comment, stupidity | 1 Comment
Tags: bad grammar, communication skills, English language, George W. Bush, grammar
I think grammar died the day Bush took office. I’m not referring to perfect grammar; who among us doesn’t make mistakes? I’m talking about blatant, in-your-face, make you grimace misuse of the easy stuff.
- Asking a store clerk the location of a product and being told, “We don’t got any of that.”
- “I don’t want no…”
- “I don’t got no…”
- “I seen her do…”
- Inserting: like, you know, know what I’m sayin, fuckin’ every few words
- misuse or mispronunciation of words
- mumbling so as to be unintelligible
- and the list goes on…
Because I am a freelancer (self employed, independent contractor) I am looked at by the sharks as a business owner and often receive phone calls soliciting business services I neither want or need. If you are a person that makes their living doing this sort of solicitation you talk for a living; you should have good communication skills. They rarely do.
The other day I answered a call from a woman (sounded more like a teenager) who said she was calling about changes to my merchant account. I said I didn’t have a merchant account to which she replied, “I know.” which prompted me to ask why then is she calling about changes to an account I don’t have. Her stumbling response was, ” Well we just like wanted to tell you about a new um happening that’s like making it easier to get a merchant account. We have this new, you know, happening” Annoyed at the interruption I sarcastically replied that, “If I wanted to like get a, you know, merchant account, I could um like ya know, make it happen by myself or whatever.” I figured she would disconnect but she did surprise me by giggling, so we both had a good laugh (at her expense).
Like real estate is now a buyers’ market, with so many highly skilled people out of work, it would seem like an employers’ market. Why, then is it the morons who are getting the jobs that require communication with the public? It’s bad enough when the customer service people are in another country and you can barely understand them, but when they are native speakers of your language and you can barely understand them something is very wrong. Could it be that the pay is so low this is the best you can get? Or have Americans been so dummed down in the past decade the average consumer would have trouble understanding an articulate speaker?
Now for some irony, or just something really weird.
Remember way back at the beginning of this post I stated my belief that the deterioration of the English language began with Bush? Here is something really ironic and a bit scary. About a week or so ago I was sick, for a few days, with a virus of the sort that makes you want to do nothing but lie down. I never watch television during the day, but one of the symptoms of this virus was the desire to watch whatever happened to be on television while lying on the sofa, remote in hand. Boy that Judge Judy is mean. I don’t have cable so please understand my choices are limited to whatever signal/s the surrounding mountains will allow.
So there I am watching whatever program came on next, lacking strength or motivation to expend my little energy pressing a button until Oprah came on. I dislike her enough that my finger found the strength and was about to change the channel when she announced her guest would be none other than former President, George W. Bush. This should have increased my motivation to press that remote button as quickly as possible, but I have to admit I was curious. In my defense I was probably delirious from the fever. I figured I would watch for a few minutes but what I saw so amazed me I watched the entire show.
Bush, was of course, on a book tour, hawking his memoir. But what so amazed me and kept me glued to the show was that Bush, or someone who looked and sounded just like him, was speaking in full sentences, using words (even adverbs) correctly, and pronouncing words (except for nuclear) correctly. In response to Oprah’s questions, which were likely provided by Bush’s people, he gave explanations for his actions that made him seem like a good guy. Sick as I was, I still thought he was a lying sack of crap. He was speaking at at least an eight or ninth grade level. He was able to respond to questions without that dazed and confused look we all came to know. He even acknowledged that many people are surprised he wrote a book and that most of them didn’t even think he could read (I still don’t). How is this possible? Was it my fever ridden brain playing tricks on me? Did the book publicist find a ringer to do interviews? Maybe it was a robotic Bush. That’s got to be it, a stand in or a robot, probably a robot.
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