Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Memo to WI GOP: spell check works, but grammar still eludes the party

Is the party's disregard for grammar indicative of overall attitude towards governance?

Bill Lueders took an interesting look at the two major state political parties' platforms in the Isthmus today, revealing stark contrasts between the two in what he called documents that "appear to not just reflect different worldviews" but rather "come from different worlds."

Upon inspection of the documents, one line from the Wisconsin Republican Party's platform caught my eye, for reasons of grammatical importance rather than policy:
We believe the United States should grant citizenship only to those who want to embrace and defund American values and culture.
Emphasis added.

I highly doubt that Republicans wish to "defund" American values and culture, though we do know that Republicans want to "defund" the budget to the point where they can "drown it in a bathtub."

The word they probably intended to place here was "defend." Sadly for state Republicans, however, while Spell Check can catch important spelling errors, it can't correct words that are wrong for the sentence yet are still spelled technically correct. For proof on that, they can just ask our current Gov. Scott Walker, who has had similar problems on Twitter and elsewhere.

I'm not trying to advocate a complete "grammar police state" takeover or anything like that. Lord knows that I've made a few mistakes on this very site.

Still, I'm not an official state party or representative of the people. When it comes to important documents, things like party platforms, it seems fairly straightforward and obvious that a good old-fashioned proofreading is appropriate, if not required.

Sadly, what seems obvious to most, on both the subjects of grammar and governance, is often overlooked or ignored by Republicans in our state.

One bit of humor to this all: the next line in the Republican Party's platform states the importance of the English language, and touts that it should become the official language of the country.

Go figure.

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