I admit that I have been in denial about certain political events since about November. I have only recently started keeping up with the news again, in an effort to be informed and aware. I have avoided stating my opinions outside of my inner circle…but sometimes one feels one has to speak! And when doing so, my main thought is, “What exactly is being said?”
I teach young children and many of them do not speak English as their first language. Some still struggle with vocabulary and sentence structure, but given enough context, I feel I have become quite good at working out their meaning and then modelling a coherent phrase for them. I am not so adept with our latest president.
My eighth grade English teacher, Mrs. Abernathy, would have had a field day trying to diagram the sentences I read today in an NPR report on a recent press conference. “Here’s the subject. There’s a verb over there…Where’s the direct object? To whom does this pronoun refer? What exactly does this or that sentence mean?” I don’t think she would have given a very good grade for either mechanics or content.
And if one isn’t going to make sense, one should do so politely.
Perhaps the press should boycott the next press conference. Would anyone really miss anything (other than an opportunity for people like me to parse a few sentences)? And maybe, just maybe, a boycott would teach a lesson: if you want people to listen to you, you need to listen to others. Or how about: If you don’t have something nice to say, say nothing at all. The well-known but often overlooked “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” would not be amiss.
But even just a modicum of common courtesy would be appreciated. Not to mention at least one complete sentence.