Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Dumbing Down of America

The dumbing down of America was a topic of interest several years ago, but today it is even more apparent the movement was a success. The latest example is Great Britain, no less, declaring the "i before e except after c" spelling rule is no longer important. Because so many people never learned, or were taught, the simple little rule about using the "ie" or "ei" combos, it was decided to let the know-nots win.

Sounds like an insignificant change in the rules, but magnified, it becomes a major philosophy of current times. Lowering standards never really helps anyone. A co-worker, Chris, asked me the other day, "What ever happened to the word 'disappear'? 'Gone missing' or 'went missing' now seem to have replaced it. Why?" I have often wondered the same thing and realized I first heard this term used by tv news anchors. Who told them to use a phrase that infers a person walked away on their own to replace one that infers a far more serious action? Our language is being changed daily as people replace one word with another, changing the meanings of both words. I've noticed many times that the person changing the meaning often didn't understand the original meaning of the word.

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