As those of you who are regular readers of The Weekly Curmudgeon know, every few weeks I find it necessary to present further evidence of America's growing disregard for our once-treasured English language. I do so in a spirit of mockery, frustration, and, I hope, curmudgeonly camaraderie.
But as our country runs further and further off the rails (and not just off the rails, but through the train depot as well, flattening the bushes beyond, plowing down trees, crashing through towns, and hurtling toward a cliff over which we will plunge headlong into the ocean), I'm more convinced than ever of a correlation people often dismiss as no more than my own curmudgeonly imaginings. It's this: complacency about linguistic accuracy shares a track with complacency about factual accuracy. If we shrug our shoulders about spelling and punctuation, it says that it doesn't matter whether things are right. And at a time when our leaders and public commentators are muddying formerly solid grounds by questioning things like what makes something a fact, what makes someone a reliable source, and whether you can change what's true by saying it isn't, I passionately believe that aspiring to accuracy (and integrity and good manners and all the other rules of civilized society) is more important than ever.
And with that soapbox rant, I give you my latest pictorial report on the state of our crumbling language:
. . . as if the issue itself wasn't already dire enough.
Either Kansas City needs a better proofreader or the city employs a
highly unusual tourism policy.
Here's a question: can they legally issue a parking ticket if the sign isn't in English?
Finally, evidence that disregard for accuracy leads to greater disregard for accuracy:
Be vigilant, fellow fighters.