Friday, June 03, 2005

Educator Language Decorum

We expect educators to mind their p’s and q’s in public writing since it mirrors status of the literacy they advocate for students. Dr. Wilcox’s blasé blog subconcious train of thought, adorned with plethora of exotic ellipses, presents slovenly flouting of that duty.

Dr. Wilcox follows the uncivilized trend of treating the Internet as free zone for sloppy writing, implying that illiteracy in cyberspace doesn’t matter even for a school superintendent.

The gentleman is wrong. Just as he would not come to the office in cutoffs and flip-flops, he should not slouch toward the Gomorrah of illiteracy on the Internet with error-strewn prose. I protest in the name of the civility of the high calling of education. Anyone involved in learning should maintain honorable literacy at all times—especially in colloquy with the public.

Dr. Wilcox should immediately review his ninth-grade grammar primer on the limited function of ellipsis: 1. to indicate omission in a quote; 2. to indicate a pause or hesitation.

Dr. Wilcox’s obsessive ellipses make him look as if he were suffering serial synapse malfunctions. One suspects he uses ellipses as self-indulgent evasion of standard punctuation. He also does not have even enough respect for his audience to use the spell checker. The gentleman has far to go before achieving the dignity—linguistic and otherwise—that taxpayers who pay his bloated $200,000 pay package have a right to expect. lee drury de cesare

Specimens excerpted from Dr. Wilcox’s blog with interpolated corrections:

I ([am] Text omits “am.”) interested in how long it took for services to be provided once the process began ... (Irrational italics.)

what (capital “w”) are some characteristics that you would like to see reflected in our middle schools and middle scholars (Question mark missing.)

if (capital “I”) you feel the urge to offer some thoughts on school size... grade configuration ... the course offerings ... middle school (hyphenation for “middle school”: two or more words before a noun acting as a single adjective; illogical ellipses) activities or just about anything middle school ... (comma, not ellipses, for introductory adverbial clause; commas after “size,” “configuration,” “offerings,” “activities” for items in a series.) this (Capital “t”) is your chance to have at it ... (period, not ellipsis) Clayt (“Clayt?” This man has no sense of decorum. Next, he will invite the great Internet world of strangers to call him “Snookums.”)

I have learned alot (“a lot”: two words) from each of you (Would that you learned to put a period at the end of a sentence.)

What do think about the concept of spending more ... sometimes significantly more ... (This nonrestrictive element should have commas or, better, dashes around it, not Dr. Wilcox’s fall-back ellipses.) to help kids (“Kids”? Do baby goats attend Pinellas schools, not children?) catch up with others who seem to have greater advantages in their preparation for school and life ... (This Parthian ellipsis symbolizes Dr. Wilcox’s evasion of correct punctuation.)

Clayt: See me in my office after class, sirrah. Bring your grammar primer. lee drury de cesare
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