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Another Grammar Rant - Presidential Edition

Many people are guilty of using bad grammar.  From students to doctors and everyone in between, words like 'acrosst' and 'worthwild' pop out of people's mouths on a semi regular basis.

But where do you draw the line?  Is it ok for your teacher or professor to use incorrect grammar?  Of course not.  It undermines their ability to be a positive example.  What about your boss?  If you're working for a person who can't speak or type well, what does that do to your morale as a worker?

What about... a President?  Can you stomach listening to a presidential speech when the person is using words like 'unpossible' or 'irregardless?'

It's like nails on a chalkboard to me.  Which is why I don't think I can vote for this man:

I consider myself to be a centrist.  I lean left on a lot of issues, and lean right on others.  For example, I like Herman Cain's idea of simplifying the tax code and implementing a flat tax across the board.  I think, of all the GOP nominees left, this guy might actually make a halfway decent President.  But even if he were saying all the right things, I don't think I can vote for him.

You see, he's the consummate businessman.  He used the be the VP of Pillsbury.  He used to be the CEO of Godfather's Pizza.  He has an MBA.  Well educated, well vetted man, right?

Then why was he on a talk show a few day ago, using words like 'unpossible' and 'irregardless?'  I was listening to Fox Radio while driving to this week's work area (only station that had reception) and Sean Hannity was interviewing Mr. Cain.  The conversation was a fairly good one, but this man's grammar, misuse of words, and poor contextualization turned me off as a potential voter.

Any President can hire a good speech writer and speak to the masses.  They can come off as eloquent, educated, and trusting.  But when you hear a dude speak from the cuff, and he can't speak proper English... it reflects poorly on what he stands for.

When I hear 'unpossible' I think of Ralph Wiggum from the Simpsons:

You wouldn't vote for Ralph Wiggum, would you?
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19 witty retorts:

Pickleope said...

"Irregardless" is painful and indefensible. I also really wanted to make a word pun but the rage is clouding the funny wrinkles in my dumb brain.

Consciously Sedated said...

There used to be a day when words like "irregardless" and "supposably" weren't words. Or was I just schooled differently from the rest of ya? Effin Internet. Both words are now listed in online dictionaries.

Like the rest of you, I don't claim to be perfect. I, too, make a lot of mistakes. My overuse of commas would be one of them, but it seems like a lot of bloggers (really popular ones) are dropping the comma all together. What up with that?

Great post.

p.s. has anyone ever told you that your keyboard-head-butting guy looks like a penis by the time he is ready to die?

Raquel's World said...

What???? Irregardless is not a word?

Haven said...

I actively cringe when I hear people use the word 'irregardless'.

I'm not exactly a grammarphile but I completely agree. When you're aiming to be in the most powerful position in the world you can't afford to have poor grammar. It makes you come across as incompetent. Remember George W. Bush? How could anyone forget. Awful. Just awful. I don't think anyone took him seriously. Not even himself.

Tony Van Helsing said...

I can't do with American politicians calling people 'folks'. Referring to the CIA as those folks in intelligence is just infantile. It's not Waltons fucking Mountain.

Alice X said...

unpossible? ahaha

I think George Bush would win the prize for worst presidential speech mishaps.

My 2 Pesos said...

Funny Ralph. :(

Dale said...

haha, sorry that was the only station getting good reception. I totally agree with you on this issue though, I haven't heard him speak much but I find it difficult to listen to or read bad grammar. It's so important...eventhough I know I write comments fast and make mistakes all the time. But public officials should be held to a higher standard. :) Nice post

Al Penwasser said...

He ain't got no gooder grammar than most folks am be worst off from he.

Zombie said...

I find it ironic that you have MC Hammer talking about Grammar Time. lol.

D4 said...

There's comments on here that burn little chunks of my brain.

Lady Estrogen said...

That's unpossible. hahaha

Sometimes, I think I know words from how they sound, but I have a hunch they're wrong. I friggin' check that shit before I say it publicly.

Just sayin.

AmberLaShell said...

Being an english major, hearing people with bad grammer actually hurts me a little bit. But, I don't want to be one of those people who constantly correct people, so I just shutup and die a little inside.

I missed reading your blog!

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Technosauce said...


Insomniac #4 said...

You make a great point about Cain. i wouldn't vote for him. And I wasn't going to vote for Wiggum, either.

But then I saw this:

Pick a winner. Vote Wiggum.

Leila said...

I think this is a moot point - especially when it comes to voting. So tell me, would you vote for a man with sinister motives JUST because he's an eloquent demagogue? There's nothing I hate more than charisma and pomp overshadowing the quality within (Hitler was a charismatic speaker was he not?). Not to mention, grammar and the mechanics of language are ever changing. Perhaps there's a reason why he maintains his jargon? A friend of mine refuses to use the word "insane" and prefers "unsane" because he's a pedantic etymologist. His reasons are beyond me, but it's still irrelevant in the overall scheme.

I try not to judge based on how well spoken the person is - regardless of who it is or what they are. It's the meaning behind it all which I judge.

But why am I posting a comment? I don't vote, after all. I don't cast my lot in this wrestling match of a debacle.

Leila said...

By the way, I "lol'ed" real hard when I read some hypocritical comments in here. ;) Way to go bloggers.

Thank, Q said...

"Unpossible?" LMAO! LMAO! Wow! That's horrible. "Irregardless" is bad enough, but at least I've heard of that before. Aw, man. This is too much.

Anonymous said...

"Being an english major, hearing people with bad grammer actually hurts me a little bit. But, I don't want to be one of those people who constantly correct people, so I just shutup and die a little inside."

That's just sad. It's "grammar."

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