I see it all the time. Everywhere. And it drives me nuts.
Why can’t we keel-haul those who can’t get simple rules of grammar right, butchering the English language in the process? Or compel them to watch endless re-runs of Bill Maher? If you wish to avoid said fate worse than death, kindly listen up and pay attention to these five most common grammar errors (Yes, this does relate to politics. It’d be a shame if you tune out now thinking otherwise, cuz you’d miss an incredibly incisive post and will be kicking yourself for a month of Sundays as a result. So just bear with me for a few and keep your shirt on):
1. Your for You’re
You’re is a contraction meaning “you are.” Your indicates possession: You’re likely to get sick if you don’t remember to wash your hands frequently.
2. It’s for its (or heaven forbid, its’)
It’s is a contraction, short hand for “it is”: It’s snowing outside. Its signifies possession: The dog wagged its tail.” There is absolutely, positively, no such word as its’.
A simple test: If you can replace it’s in your sentence with it is or it has, then your word is it’s; otherwise, your word is its.
3. They’re for their for there
They’re means “they are.” They’re going ice skating tonight. Their shows possession or belonging, “Are you going to their party?” There means “over there”.
No: Book stores are selling some of there old stock.
Yes: Book stores are selling some of their old stock.
4: Loose for lose
The dog got loose from her collar and ran off; thank God we didn’t lose her.
5. Then for than
Than signifies a comparison, as in “better than”. Then is used as a time marker as in “first I did this, then I did that.”
No: The accounting department had more problems then we did.
Yes: The accounting department had more problems than we did.
What does this have to do with politics?
Short answer: Everything. Because when it comes to framing the debate in the political landscape, it’s all about words and word usage (yeah, even grammar) – and which ones to “pay extra.” Lewis Carroll illustrates:
“The question is,” said Alice, “Whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master-that’s all.”
Alice was too much puzzled to say anything, so, after a minute, Humpty Dumpty began again. “They’ve a temper, some of them-particularly verbs, they’re the proudest: adjectives you can do anything with, but not verbs. However, I can manage the whole lot of them! Impenetrability! That’s what I say!”
“Would you tell me, please,” said Alice, “what that means?”
“Now you talk like a reasonable child,” said Humpty Dumpty, looking very much pleased, “I meant by ‘impenetrability’ that we’ve had enough of that subject, and it would be just as well if you’d mention what you mean to do next, as I suppose you don’t mean to stop here all the rest of your life.”
“That’s a great deal to make one word mean,” Alice said in a thoughtful tone.
“When I make a word do a lot of work like that,” said Humpty Dumpty, “I always pay it extra.”
– Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass
“Paying It Extra”
Just as Carroll uses language as a means to order Alice’s Looking Glass world, so do DemoLibs use language to win hearts and minds. And elections. DemoLibs win policy points and votes because they understand the power of “paying words extra.”
You gotta give ’em credit. DemoLibs know how to use words and make them jump through hoops to advance their (not there) agenda. They twist or re-cast words and phrases to trick and bilk. Warping and redefining the English language is what DemoLib demagogues do when attempting to re-write laws and impose their (not there) agenda on the rest of us. They’re (not their or there) pros at swaying public opinion by playing semantics, which ultimately paves the way for judges to interpret law in such a way so as to change our way of life. Just turn on MSNBC. Until your ears bleed.
Goebbels Had Nothing on The DemoLib Propaganda Machine
DemoLibs have been very, very successful at chipping away at the Constitution because they know how to gild the rhetoric lily, tie it up with a bow and detonate the package against the opposition with a well-timed word or phrase. Remember Hope and Change? How ’bout War on Women? The words worked, rallying women voters around the DemoLib flag while Conservs were caught flat-footed. Whaddya bet that the rallying cry for 2014 is going to be Income Inequality? (Get a jump on it now, folks, so you don’t lose – not loose – it in November)
More Words DemoLibs Work Hard:
Spending Cut: When an expenditure increases, but increases less than what was budgeted.
Social Justice: Marxist redistribution of wealth.
Women’s issues: Abortion-on-demand
Justice: Identical outcomes for different inputs
Investment: When the government confiscates earned wealth of private individuals and gives it away to unions, school bureaucracies, government fiefdoms, environmentalist faux scientists, and campaign supporters so they get a “return” of more votes in their next election.
Racist – Anyone who’s not a DemoLib
Executive Order – Constitution-shredding end run around Congress
“I’ve got a pen and a phone” – and think I’m a banana republic dictator.
So here’s the deal.
Don’t play the game their (not there or they’re) way. Instead of letting them frame the debate their way, counter. Use the language to further a conservative, constitutional, common sense agenda.
Instead of talking “pro-choice” on abortion, frame the issue as “pro-death” or “pro-abortion.” Instead of arguing “women’s issues,” say, “right to kill a pre-born baby.” Instead of “taking the law into your own hands,” say “self-defense.” Instead of “redistribution of wealth” and “income inequality,” call a spade a spade: “Redistribution of earnings” and “stealing.”
It’s (not its) a good idea to study your (not you’re) notes. There (not their or they’re) will be a quiz on Friday. “Grades” will not be based on Babalu Barry’s redistribution rhetoric.
Read more at Liberals Change a Country by Changing the Language.
What words or phrases have you seen DemoLibs pay extra? What are you doing to counter?