Tuesday, May 31, 2005

It's Not Like English Wasn't His Native Language

Today, I had to edit a "letter" (though I use the term very loosely, considering the poor quality of the writing involved) of recommendation written by a man with a Ph.D. who had held professorships at two different universities before moving to his current position in the leadership of a D.C. think tank. The letter was four pages long, but contained only 27 sentences, many of which were entirely missing verbs.

Try to write a four page letter using only twenty-seven sentences. I dare you. You can't do it, not even with the help of colons and semi-colons, not unless you severely abuse the English language.

This moron is making the big bucks working for a think tank. I'm struggling to pay rent on a cheap apartment and buy my clothes at secondhand stores. Why on Earth did I believe my English teachers when they told me that proper grammar and spelling were necessary to succeed in the business world and that effective written communication was highly prized in the workplace? There is no justice in the world.


At 9:40 PM , Blogger Queen PLC said...

Unfortunately, your English teachers could not have anticipated the age of soundbites and pithy summaries. In today's information age, brevity is prized above all else, at the expense of good grammer, spelling and increasingly, of actual substance. Since he's the head of the think tank, he probably has not written more than a paragraph or two of anything in a long time. He just needs to be able to "talk the talk" to the relevant policy-makers.

All the actual reports produced by the think tank are being churned out by underpaid, newly graduated kiddies...aka...US...



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