Friday, March 11, 2005

Ogden Nash Is a Threat To Our Children 

If you feel like getting pissed off in a way you thought wasn't possible in today's too damned politically correct society, read this Times piece from cantankerous ol' "Grampa" Clyde Haberman -- Gramps is off on one of his favorite topics today, how those blasted Negroes don't know how to spell!

I'll save you the trouble of reading it:
Rappers don't know grammar. Frequently, their names are themselves misspelled! (It is unclear whether Gramps thinks that, say, Ludacris actually meant to spell it "ludicrous," but didn't have spell check.) When they aren't shooting one another at something called "Hot 97," they are placing apostrophes in the wrong place and teaching our children a non-standard spelling of "Noriega"!

Here's the rub -- his contention is not actually that rappers' spelling is setting a bad example, it seems to genuinely be that they are too stupid to know how to correctly spell and punctuate. Mr. Haberman runs across one poor dolt (working for some Oxford English something-or-other) who claims that hip hop patois is "interesting" and "inventive," but Gramps makes him back up several yards from that admission and decry the influence it may be having on li'l (or lil', just to annoy Gramps) children who, like Frederick Douglass strapping a book to his plow, are teaching themselves to read by carefully studying the liner notes to Nastradomus. Because there is nothing "inventive" about wordplay, dear boy. Proper poets and songwriters use proper grammar!

And he ends with this choice selection of National Review-quality barely concealed racism:
Mr. Game said he was "almost ashamed" of the latest nastiness. Almost. For his part, Mr. Cent had trouble reading a prepared statement. Maybe it was because the words were spelled right.

Lord knows what congnitive dissonance would result should Gramps ever come across, say, e.e. cummings, or, heaven forefend, Lewis Carroll.

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