During my years as a newspaper editor and publisher, I often featured programs and activities that promoted good reading habits and encouraged others to become lifelong readers. After a two-part series extolling the virtues and benefits of our local public library, I received a letter from a leader of a community organization, thanking me for my efforts to “stamp out literacy.”
Now, I’m pretty sure that wasn’t what she meant but, based on some recent examples that have come to my attention, I seem to be having some success. Some time ago, Joel Weldon, a friend and fellow word lover, sent me an excerpt from one of the inflight magazine. Its focus was on the grammatical gaffes regularly uttered by sports commentators. For example:
- “Karl Malone came on with Stu and I at halftime.”
- “Things changes quickly.”
- “He should have went to second base.”
- “He has slown down over the years.”
Unfortunately, sports guys aren’t the only offenders. My pet peeve is with the TV weather forecasters who insist on telling us, evening after evening, what the temperature will be “tomorrow morning at 11 a.m.” And, no matter now much I yell at them on the screen, they continue to ignore me.
So, keep up the good work, everyone. Together, we’ll get this literacy thing stamped out once and for all.