Thursday, August 30, 2012

Grammar counts when writing propaganda

In his column today, George Will writes, “In the 1960s, public-employee unions were expanded to feast from quantitative liberalism (favors measured in quantities of money). And qualitative liberalism was born as environmentalists, feminists and others got government to regulate behavior in the service of social “diversity,” “meaningful” work, etc.”

If I had the moxy, I’d use this article in a lesson on the passive voice. Labor unions “were created.” By whom? For what? Ditto civil rights and women’s rights: who were the ones clamoring for all this? Was it this big monstrosity cooked up by the government to control our lives? Or did this all happen with thousands of people toiling away year after year, educating, building awareness, raising the issue and demanding change? The article is replete with issues I’d take up if I were ever (mis)fortunate enough to debate the matter with Mr. Will and his column (a typical one), but at the very least, we can all agree that the AFL-CIO didn’t come from some sort of legislative big bang. It came from the people. If that’s a special interest, then there aren’t enough of them today.

2 comments:

Margie said...

As a grammar nazi, I loved this piece. Have you ever noticed the grammar goofs of Obama ("between Michelle and I") or even Clinton at the DNC ("no one, not even me, could have done that.") Drives me up a wall.

DB said...

Me too. Not as much as George Will doing it on purpose, though.