Archive for January 21st, 2008

Grammar and moderation

by Pete Talbot

Who and whom, affect and effect — these are just a couple of grammatical quandaries that always give me pause.

And I appreciate the corrections that alert readers offer in their comments. I really do.

What I don’t appreciate are the additional remarks such as “you f*cking idiot” or “you illiterate slut.” I don’t believe that these advance the dialogue.

Blogs aren’t scholarly periodicals, for the most part. I think that they are more about content than a lesson in grammar, punctuation and syntax. Basic writing skills are nice to have, if just to get ones message across. If the the writing is jibberish, the content is lost.

But then there’s the issue of common usage, for example: who and whom. Folks just don’t use “whom” that much anymore. Some would say it even sounds a little snooty. So, if you’re trying to get a message out to the masses and folks balk when you use “whom” in a sentence, is it better to go with “who?” I don’t know the answer.

This brings me to a current dilemma. A recent comment took a 4&20 contributor to task for using “like I said” instead of the proper “as I said.” My mom used to correct me all the time when I substituted “like” for “as.” But current usage, particularly here in Montana, leans toward “like,” and we are targeting a Montana audience at this site.

More important, though, is after the commenter questioned the grammatical usage, he needlessly added, “you illiterate slut.”

We deleted that comment. It added nothing to the subject matter and actually, IMHO, damaged the commenter’s credibility.

This is called “moderation.” (Not “moderation” as “I drink in moderation” but our ability at 4&20 to moderate the comments that are posted at this site.)

So keep those grammar, punctuation and syntax suggestions coming but please keep the insults and profanity to a minimum; you low-rent, scum-sucking dogs.  You will be “moderated.”

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by Rebecca Schmitz

In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I wanted to post a link to what is, in my opinion, Dr. King’s most moving speech, “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop“. He gave it the night before his assassination on April 4th, 1968.  Beacuse of that, his final words are some of the most poignant in American history.

Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn’t matter with me now. Because I’ve been to the mountaintop. And I don’t mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land! So I’m happy, tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord!

If you have the time, I really encourage you to listen to the audio file (others are available here). The words above are beautiful, but Dr. King’s delivery is meant to be heard.




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