Grammar and Vocabulary

I try very hard not to be a “Grammar Nazi” when reading Facebook and similar things on the internet.  As to Facebook I realize not every writer has the education level, or for whom English is a second language.  As for the grammar used in posts on Yahoo and Google, that’s another matter.

These two entities like to provide news stories that after reading them I’m not sure what the article was about.  Was the writer pro or con on this issue?  I hoped the bad English would eventually be weeded out, but I decided I would just stick to the more reliable information sites:  CNN, Al Jazeera, Politico, Huffington Post, etc.

Now with Trump in power we can kiss our vocabulary and grammar good-bye.  Just like we have to accept “alternate facts” as real.  Now our anti-bullying campaign is a complete waste of time, money and effort, since our Commandeer-In-Chief has the diplomacy of a 6th year old playground bully.

I read an excellent, though dated, article  from Politico on Trump’s vocabulary, and it got me thinking: just how many words does Donnie have in his repertoire?  So I did a little more looking and found another, more recent, article from the Washington Post.  But no one actually counted the words Donnie uses.  Excluding articles (I, me, he, she, them, from, to, an, and, etc.) I decided to put together a list of his most frequently used words:

big, huge, bigly, biggest, best, worst, sad, bad, stupid, weak, lousy, horrible, deal, good, terrible, loser, hater, moron, dumb, smart (only when referring to himself), tough, dangerous, worse, lies, fake news, media, amazing, tremendous, terrific, zero, out of control (OK, I know it’s a phrase), beautiful, classy.

That’s just a taste.  Now, try to read the transcript of one of his speeches:

“Look, having nuclear—my uncle was a great professor and scientist and engineer, Dr. John Trump at MIT; good genes, very good genes, OK, very smart, the Wharton School of Finance, very good, very smart—you know, if you’re a conservative Republican, if I were a liberal, if, like, OK, if I ran as a liberal Democrat, they would say I’m one of the smartest people anywhere in the world—it’s true!—but when you’re a conservative Republican they try—oh, do they do a number—that’s why I always start off: Went to Wharton, was a good student, went there, went there, did this, built a fortune—you know I have to give my like credentials all the time, because we’re a little disadvantaged—but you look at the nuclear deal, the thing that really bothers me—it would have been so easy, and it’s not as important as these lives are (nuclear is powerful; my uncle explained that to me many, many years ago, the power and that was 35 years ago; he would explain the power of what’s going to happen and he was right—who would have thought?), but when you look at what’s going on with the four prisoners—now it used to be three, now it’s four—but when it was three and even now, I would have said it’s all in the messenger; fellas, and it is fellas because, you know, they don’t, they haven’t figured that the women are smarter right now than the men, so, you know, it’s gonna take them about another 150 years—but the Persians are great negotiators, the Iranians are great negotiators, so, and they, they just killed, they just killed us.”

Help Us Diagram This Sentence by Donald Trump! This is probably the world’s longest run-on sentence ever! Nineteen lines and the man didn’t even say anything!

Our world is in chaos and we are being lead by an ignorant beast!  We need to find a child therapist to help us interpret and clarify what he says, not Sean Spicer, who speaks nearly as well as Trump.  But given the material he has to work with, I guess he does pretty well.

Please help us or we are doomed!  We Stand

Logic and Faith

We’ve all experienced them.  Retweeters.  You really want to support them, but all they do is tweet and retweet everything having to do with their business.  Good for them, they must know marketing, but it was bugging you.  They rarely have anything of interest to say.  They may sell a lot of books that way, and more power, but still you unsubscribed.

We all have the power to read or not read what shows up on our computer screen.  Think the new movie should be rated X for the sex and violence?  Don’t let your kid see it.  Don’t like the new TV show about the gay couple adopting a baby?  Change the fucking channel you twat, don’t prevent me from seeing it just because you’re offended?

Then there are the inevitable political and religious debates.  The stuff of real life, the important issues–the ones we’re not supposed to talk about.  That’s what is good about Twitter and WordPress and other similar sites.  Disseminate opinions and information at lightning speed.  And what happens to this little miracle of interconnectedness?  We butt heads and argue and call names and upset each other in a clumsy attempt to connect.

Don’t like my opinions, one click and gone.  No more annoying shameless self-promotion. I can do the same with anyone that offends or upsets me.  So why do people let someone into their life when they know if will cause friction?  There was a time I liked causing that friction.  Maybe I’ve mostly outgrown it, or maybe I’m more Buddhist in my thinking than I thought, though I admit, I still forward the occasional political commentary, especially if Romney, Ryan, or Akin do something particularly stupid.

I always wanted to understand what faith was and so I liked to talk to people about their religion.  Today no one wants to explain their faith, they want to wave a book in the air and say “if it ain’t in here, it ain’t right.”   If we could all adopt the attitude of just trying to understand the other person it would go a long way.  It really doesn’t seem like too much to ask.  Regardless of which book you follow doesn’t it say above all be compassionate, love your neighbors as yourself?  Aren’t we here to learn everything about the world before we die?  Don’t you have a duty to yourself to remain open-minded to the world’s many life forms, including LGBT people, pedophiles, murderers, and thieves?  Be open to the goodness that hides somewhere in nearly everyone.

People pick and choose which tenets to live their lives by.  I do, and I think a lot of us do.  I’m influenced by my Catholic upbringing, though I reject it totally and haven’t seen the inside of a church in 30 years, I cannot disguise the fact that I was raised a Catholic.  I say I have Buddhist beliefs, but I’m undecided regarding reincarnation, as I lack faith in something that cannot be proven.  I am spiritual in that I think all plants and animals have a right to life on our planet and I don’t have the authority to kill anything.  I don’t believe this blindly, or I’d be overrun with rats, but with an understanding that you must bend a little.  I still eat meat, because that’s what animals were put on earth for–for the rest of us to eat.  I don’t want to get into the debates on animals rights, suffice to say I bury my head in the sand on that one.  We have to prioritize.

Atheists argue with the Religious and wonder why they can’t get through to them.  You cannot convince the blind that they see, can you?  Logic cannot argue with faith.  You either believe or you don’t.

FAITH:  Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence

By definition faith cannot be changed by the application of logic.  The faithful don’t need material evidence, because they believe.  Maybe to you and me they believe in fairy tales, but who can blame them for wanting to believe in Wonderland, if only for a while.  The problem lies in their utter lack of desire to control their own lives.  Simply put, some people are followers and you can’t make them into leaders.  Sometimes life is easier if someone else is at the helm.  I don’t dislike religious people.  I just find them to be (in general) somewhat sheltered and ignorant about other parts of the world, and it seems they wish to remain so.

Unfortunately for all of us, there is the religious man who likes to flaunt his book as the definitive history of the world.  Which is very odd, since it is such a limited story.  I would think, logically, that to have a complete history of the world, you would refer to more than one book.  But the world isn’t perfect and neither are people or their books.  I don’t believe that we should stop discussing religion or politics, but I finally understand why they’re on the list of things not to discuss–the effort is pointless.  You can’t change someone’s mind when faith is involved.  This lesson goes for the religious as well.  You can’t convince an atheist that your god is real because an atheist is a logical person.

Then of course, there is the issue of LGBT, which are apparently ill represented in the Bible and other holy relics, which seems to lead to unfortunate interpretations.  What I wonder about, since there have been LGBT individuals presumably since man started to walk upright, why is it portrayed negatively?  To me it seems perfectly natural, if relatively infrequent.  But, because it is portrayed negatively, the zealots of today glom onto that idea as gospel truth, and there’s no dislodging that belief.  You’re dealing with a “because the bible tells me so” attitude.  Again, logic doesn’t play into the faithfuls minds.  Logic arguing faith.  The debate cannot be won.  It’s Spock and McCoy every time.

I just read what I’ve written above and find it’s a very Buddhist attitude.  I don’t mean for people to stop talking, just stop arguing.  I don’t mean to sound like I am on the side of remaining ignorant and bigoted.  I’m saying the argument can’t be won.  For example, if  I live in Ohio, go to church religiously, associate only with other WASPs, and read the bible every night before bed, you’re not likely to enlighten me.  Isn’t it a waste of your time preaching to a wall?

I think arguments should be targeted toward those inbetweeners, the teens and 20 somethings who are trying to figure out how they fit in this world.  This generation of kids will be the most open-minded, least religious, most spiritual and I think hippest generation.  This is the group I’d concentrate on influencing.  It’s difficult to target any one demographic with Twitter or WordPress, I agree.  But you can get a sense of someone’s age by their writing.

Don’t stop arguing, because there’s always hope that you’ll get through.  I’m just saying, best not expect too much.