apparently I'm a bigoted hypocrite

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Thu Sep 27 23:58:46 UTC 2012

Ignore. Because your correspondent has already missed the point, you'll
only be talking at cross purposes.

He thinks you're saying "If it feels good, do it."

It sounds as though his students are extremely unprepared to compete for
jobs requiring a confident command of standard English (maybe especially in
writing) and he's mad because you're implying that there's no quick fix.
 (I mean,  "no easy way to remedy the situation.")  So that's translated
into an inference that you're saying almost anything goes -  because the
kids have to rely on their own language savvy. (I mean, "sense of
situational appropriateness.").

If there's one thing I've learned from watching TV commercials, there's
always a quick fix. Anything else would be un-American.  So find a quick


On Thu, Sep 27, 2012 at 7:29 PM, James Harbeck <jharbeck at>wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       James Harbeck <jharbeck at SYMPATICO.CA>
> Subject:      apparently I'm a bigoted hypocrite
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Sheesh, attempt to teach people nuances of how language works and how to =
> use it effectively and get this kind of abuse -- from a comment at =
> t/#comments :
> Your advice doesn=92t help my students, who are grappling with learning =
> English that is acceptable to employers and have been crippled in their =
> basic educations by progressive theories so that employers reject them. =
> Perhaps you think it is clever to suggest that students who have trouble =
> competing with Ivy League graduates should thrive on messy English. In =
> fact, you and the educators who agree with you cripple students from =
> less-than-elite backgrounds. There is a vicious elitism in your and =
> related progressive education theories which I struggle to combat. I =
> notice that your own writing does not violate Grammar Girl=92s rules. =
> Hypocritical theories like yours have victimized my students, and I =
> can=92t help but suggest that your ideas are self-serving and bigoted. =
> I=92m willing to bet that your own children won=92t be crippled the way =
> the New York City school system has crippled my students.
> Sigh. I have to go to the theatre. Anyone else want to respond to this =
> guy before I get to it?
> James Harbeck.=
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

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