The Beav according to Beav

Still crazy after all these years.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

English Spoken Here

What happened to our command of the language?

I was talking with some co-workers the other day, and as one read the ingredient list from her can of juice, she asked "what's green #3?" I quickly said that it was a coloring and asked if she had heard of "red dye #5." She's several (well, maybe more than several) years younger than me, so I was not surprised when she said the word/name was familiar but didn't recognize the signifigance. I mentioned that it was a coloring that was widely used until it was pulled due to being carcinogenic.

She (and another office-mate) said: "Carcino-what?"

I'm amazed. This doesn't seem like a tough word to me. When did we lose our abilities as native speakers of the language? Isn't it a trifle depressing that foreigners speak our tongue better than we do? I get e-mails from people at work that are full of spelling and grammar errors. Even things that a simple (crappy) spell-checker would catch. What happened? Have we as a society simply stopped caring about how we sound to each other? Or if we sound "too intellectual," somehow we lose some sort of respect in others' eyes?

Just makes me wonder. Ponder. Pontificate.

Math Nerd sends in the following marquee (thanks!):

"Salvation is a gift anyone can open."
I can see it now, Christmas morning...a kid wakes up and runs downstairs, joy in his eyes...puzzled at first, but grabs the only present under the tree...unwraps it to find it is an empty box. Mom and Dad, in unison, "Merry Christmas son! We got you salvation this year...the best present you could ever hope to get!"
Dejected, he walks back to his room, mumbling, "But it isn't what I told Santa I wanted."

To be fair, a child wouldn't much appreciate a college trust fund either, but your point is well taken. Actually, an interesting question I'd have to ask: What if the giftee doesn't want that present? Kinda like giving your wife a bowling ball for her birthday, isn't it? Well, it would probably be more accurate to say if the giftee doesn't want your particular brand of salvation... like giving a Pepsi devotee a case of Coke.

Mmm, Pepsi.



  • At 4:28 AM, Anonymous Kris said…

    PEPSI!!! Yuck Alert!!! (member that?)

    I have attempted many times to give something to someone who didn't want the gift. They simply didn't take it.


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