Monday, August 11, 2008

EHHH, What's up pops?

actually been working on our new book the one on vocabulary acquisition. I’m putting together a chapter on why a teacher would want to incorporate performance into their curriculum and now I am playing hooky on my assignment by posting here.

Some studies have decided that the typical American’s vocabulary has been halved in the last century or so. I’m not sure that I completely buy this notion; not certain whether these inquires take into account new words being introduced into the lexicon or if they only track those that are disappearing. Even so, anecdotally, I can say I have noticed a discernable anti intellectualism parading through the U S of A zeitgeist.

Last night I watched our commander in chief interviewed by Bob Costas and I marveled at how this guy could be the head of a supposed superpower. I mean this smirking cowboy has his finger on the button that could turn the surface of our planet into a glowing skating rink for cockroaches.

Yep, there he blinks, head tilted at a 45 degree angle like some dog listening to a high pitch whine nobody else is hearing. That self congratulatory chuckle and mini head bob each time he manages to get through a whole sentence without swallowing his tongue. I half expect W to copy Michael Phelps’ ecstatic reaction to the American team’s victory in the freestyle relay (was that something else or what?) each time he successfully handles a word with more than three syllables.

This is us, this is the U.S.

Bush thrust his hand into pre-game huddle before the U.S - China basketball game where Clevelander Lebron James asked, “What’s up Pops?”

“Well let’s see, Last night I sat two seats away from Putin – Y’know, the guy whose soul I looked into, that didn’t work out so good ‘cause his country is bombing the bejesus out of another sovereign nation – and back home we’ve got this mortgage crisis, gas prices are pretty much out of control, in fact inflation is making a comeback, it’s been alleged that my administration cooked the books on the whole Iraq thing – forgeries that kind of stuff – heh, heh, heh - etc. etc. etc.”
How much ya wanna bet he really answered, “Not much.”

Now I don’t expect the president of the United States to really give an in depth existential answer to the power forward of a basketball team as they break huddle– even if it is King James, who on a side note I must say, has always done our fine city proud as a well spoken young man in any interview I have seen. I just wish we had a guy in the oval officethat I could believe had the capability to intelligently and articulately answer a question.

Maybe he just needs some vocabulary lessons?


smith said...

as long as his vocabulary lesson is given inside his prison cell, ok.

lady said...

I appreciate the utility of vocabulary more and more in my acquisition of Spanish. Each new word is a refinement or possibility for expression, a tool.

How much possibility disappears when words disappear?

And how much sense becomes nonsense in the Orwellian era? No wonder reason is so broken when the state of the state is such that a government agency acts against its purported mission or they tell us war is peace and soldiers are peacekeepers.

We erase ourselves.