January 14, 2019

"The president of the United States has many faults, but let’s not ignore this one: He cannot write sentences."

"If a tree falls in a forrest and no one is there to hear it … wait: Pretty much all of you noticed that mistake, right? Yet Wednesday morning, the president did not; he released a tweet referring to 'forrest fires' twice, as if these fires were set by Mr. Gump. Trump’s serial misuse of public language is one of many shortcomings that betray his lack of fitness for the presidency. Trump’s writing suggests not just inadequate manners or polish—not all of us need be dainty—but inadequate thought. Nearly every time he puts thumb to keypad, he exposes that he has never progressed beyond the mentality of the precollegiate, trash-talking teen."

Writes John McWhorter in "Trump’s Typos Reveal His Lack of Fitness for the Presidency/They suggest not just inadequate manners or polish, but inadequate thought."

I got there via "A Letter to Professor John McWhorter" by Seth Barrett Tillman, who writes:
We (Americans) have had many talented wordsmiths in the White House. I see no connection between such talents, and adopting & putting into effect substantively sound policies. Woodrow Wilson—a university academic—comes to mind. But very few can explain precisely why the U.S. entered WWI or offer any justification for Wilson's allowing the federal civil service to be (re)segregated by race. He was good with words.

Your article amounts to a non-instrumental claim that elites who share your specific skill set should have power and those who do not share that skill set should not.... It is certainly better for the President to spell "forest" with a single R rather than two Rs. But ... it is probably more important that better policies be put in place to stop similar future disasters....
That was linked by Glenn Reynolds, who writes:
Good writing, like good shooting, is a valuable skill. Neither has a moral component. The Supreme Court’s best writer was Oliver Wendell Holmes, who told us — eloquently — that it was okay to sterilize people society didn’t like.
Let me add that there's a big difference between good writing and good spelling! Some great writers have had bad spelling — notably William Faulkner:
One of Faulkner's editors at Random House, Albert Erskine, said, "I know that he did not wish to have carried through from typescript to printed book his typing mistakes, misspellings (as opposed to coinages), faulty punctuation and accidental repetition. He depended on my predecessors, and later on me, to point out such errors and correct them; and though we never achieved anything like a perfect performance, we tried."...
And Ernest Hemingway:
Whenever his newspaper editors complained about it, he'd retort, "Well, that's what you're hired to correct!"
And John Keats:
In a letter to his great love Fanny Brawne, Keats spelled the color purple, purplue. This generated a longer conversation between the two, as Keats tried to save face by suggesting he'd meant to coin a new portmanteaux [sic] - a cross between purple and blue.
And Jane Austen:
She once misspelled one of her teenage works as "Love and Freindship" and is infamously known to have spelt scissors as scissars.
And F. Scott Fitzgerald:
The original draft of The Great Gatsby contained literally hundreds of spelling mistakes, some of which are still confounding editors. These include “yatch” (instead of “yacht”) and “apon” (instead of “upon”). One of his most famous gaffes, which occurs toward the end of the novel, inspires debate to this day.
Here's that gaffe:
After Fitzgerald’s death, Edmund Wilson changed the spelling from “orgastic” to “orgiastic” in the famous closing line: “Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us.”
So many great writers were bad spellers that I've got to wonder whether bad spelling goes along with great writing. Maybe there's something about the brain of a bad speller. Have many Spelling Bee winners gone on to write great books?

John McWhorter thinks bad spelling is evidence of "inadequate thought," but — ironically — he needs to give that thought a little more thought.

ADDED: John Irving, the author of "The World According to Garp," was called "stupid" and "lazy" when he was a child and later found out he had dyslexia. I'm reading his "How to Spell." Excerpt:
You must remember that it is permissible for spelling to drive you crazy. Spelling had this effect on Andrew Jackson, who once blew his stack while trying to write a Presidential paper. “It’s a damn poor mind that can think of only one way to spell a word!” the President cried.

When you have trouble, think of poor Andrew Jackson and know that you’re not alone.

And remember what’s really important about good writing is not good spelling. If you spell badly but write well, you should hold your head up. As the poet T.S. Eliot recommended, “Write for as large and miscellaneous an audience as possible”--and don’t be overly concerned if you can’t spell “miscellaneous.” Also remember that you can spell correctly and write well and still be misunderstood. Hold your head up about that, too.

184 comments:

Curious George said...

TDS Tag needed

tim in vermont said...

Hillary could spell “Go kill Gaddafi!” Or “Let’s pour more weapons into the civil war in Syria and see if we can really make something big out of it!”

Mark Twain said that he had little respect for a man who only knew one way to spell a word. I think that a focus on spelling over the meaning of words and the concepts conveyed is the sign of a small mind. But we know that liberals are into bondage and control, maybe it goes to language too. After all, if you aren’t concerned with what others think of you in the small things, it may be that it’s a sign that you are a dangerous free-thinker!

stlcdr said...

Has he been introduced to twitter?

I don’t read (sic) that much but almost everything elicits the ‘wtf does that even mean?!’

Hagar said...

(Re)segregated? I don't think anyone had thought of officially segregating the Civil Service before Wilson did it.

mezzrow said...

I detect an insufficient filter for trickeration. Note that each mistake focuses and increases the distribution of the original tweet. I really like McWhorter, but I can see this as a blind spot for him.

It's one thing to not know how to spell. It's another thing to not care that you tweet out a "mistake". He's playing you, John.

Sebastian said...

"John McWhorter thinks bad spelling is evidence of "inadequate thought," but — ironically — he needs to give that thought a little more thought."

Maybe. But his point is not the point. After straying ever so slightly from the prog plantation, McW thought he needed a CYA move. What better way to get protection from prog attack than to declare Trump inferior and unfit?

exhelodrvr1 said...

E.E. Cummings couldn't punctuate worth a damn!

The "leadership" on the left is completely clueless about what is actually important.

Darrell said...

Tweeting isn't writing.
In most cases, it is heckling.
And to John McWhorter I Tweet--"You suck!"

rhhardin said...

A black who can spell. That's not nothing.

gilbar said...

i KNEW that there Had To Be SOME reason to remove Trump, and replace him with Hilary!
Now we have it! He misspelt forrest!! EXECUTE HIME!

Ralph L said...

So many elites were bowled over by Profiles in Courage and Dreams of My Father, yet Sorenson and Ayers will be mere footnotes in history.

Darrell said...

We have no evidence that Barack Obama can write. His school papers have been withheld by his Comrades--under great penalty, I assume, because no one has defied the edict. And he said "corpseman." And there was that fig-eating ape shit in the sea cave poetry incident.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Pretty much all of you noticed that mistake, right?

I didn't. I needed to be prompted that there was a mistake, then read it twice more to figure out what the mistake was. And if it had been a mistake that I had written, I would have been even more blind to it.

Once written, twice... said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ralph L said...

Trump got a lot of mileage out of covfefe.

A black who can spell. That's not nothing.
I was going to mention "Vernon Can Read" here, but it sounded too racist.

alanc709 said...

Obama was quite an erudite speaker, also, as long as he had a teleprompter. Unaided, he was quite malaprop. I'm still searching for the other 7 states.

Jessica said...

I'm any Ivy League graduate, big firm lawyer, and former federal appeals court clerk. I couldn't figure out the error in the sentence. Ha.

This is one of those articles that will be more helpful than harmful to Trump. It fairly seethes with snobbery.

Once written, twice... said...

Ann, if President Obama communicated like Trump your Althouse Hillbillies would have been screaming “Ebonics!” everyday. And you would’ve been just fine with that. You would also have used it to trash him. But with Trump you somehow think it makes him a genius. That is the true Trump Derangement Syndrome..and you have it.

PuertoRicoSpaceport.com said...

I've said before and will say again, I think PDJT does this on purpose.

1) Many people, like myself, do not follow him on Twitter. When people like McWhorter get all spun up we see the Tweet or at least hear about it where we otherwise would not have.

That, not whether he spells forest with 1 or 2 r's is the important thing.

2) It gets people like McWhorter spun up and making fools of themselves. When McWhorter criticizes the spelling rather than the content, PDJT has won the argument.

And what's with all those commas in the Constitution, anyway? Ann, the constitution is your beat. Did a wagonload of commas crash into the room where the FFs were writing the constitution? Or were they a bunch of dumbshits who didn't know how to punctuate?

(I should not complain, I tend to overuse commas myself. And parens. I am still working my way through a barrel of parentheses that Amazon sent me by mistake)

John Henry

Limited blogger said...

We are living in some peaceful and prosperous times

Henry said...

McWhorter picked a wildly inapt example for his thesis.

Inadequate thought?

J Severs said...

Well-researched and well-written rebuttal.

rehajm said...

What better way to get protection from prog attack than to declare Trump inferior and unfit?

An escalating contest of self mutilation to demonstrate your progressive loyalties.

MikeR said...

I like John McWhorter, except when he starts about Trump. Derangement Syndrome in full bloom.

One of the brightest people I've ever worked with once criticized my emails. He said I wasted valuable time proof-reading them over and over, when actually the point was to deliver a message and no one cared or should care. His emails were always very intelligent but with very poor spelling and grammer. Er, grammar.

Tina848 said...

As a horrible speller (who had speech and hearing issues) and a terrible typist, who makes tons of mistakes - no one would ever call me inadequate in the IQ department. I am a Scientist, with multiple graduate degrees and teach classes to the leadership of our company. Typos are the sign of a mind working faster than the hands can type.

For example, I fixed 6 errors as I typed the above.

I think Trump thinks faster than he can type - almost ADHD. You can hear it in his extemporaneous speech also. His mind connects things as he is talking causing him multiple clauses in the sentences he utters.

FYI - 4 more typos in the above were fixed....

gspencer said...

Lack of fitness for office? Of all the presidents during my lifetime (>60yrs), DJT is the only one who regularly cites his constitutional duties and faithfulness to his oath. Every public official, federal and state, is bound by oath to support the Constitution (Art. VI), meaning each oath taker, by virtue of that oath, should, if their oath is from the heart*, be America First since the oath is for obedience to the structure of the Constitution. But there are huge numbers taking those oaths with fingers crossed.

*That's the problem, isn't it? The oaths mean nothing if your moral code says that your Yes may or may not mean Yes, or your No may or may not mean your No.

Two examples. We now have 3 Muslims in Congress (Carson, Omar, Tlaib). Muslims repeatedly tell us that their loyalty is to Islam and Islam alone; that the law of Islam, the Shariah, is superior to any manmade law such as the Constitution. What then is the value of the Article VI oath of such office holders?

Breyer and Ginsburg have each taken the Article VI oath to "this Constitution" (a phrase used 12 times). Yet each has stated that their judgment on American cases in American courts can properly be informed by reference to foreign law. Of what value was their oath?

PuertoRicoSpaceport.com said...

I'm really surprised at McWhorter. Is he covering for PDJT?

"Forrest" was clearly a reference to Nathan Bedford Forrest, confederate general and founder of the KKS (and a LifeLong Democrat!)

It was clearly intended as a dogwhistle for all us racist deplorables out there.

And McWhorter ignored it.

Sad.

John Henry

rehajm said...

We should stop rehashing grammatical and punctuation errors on Twitter. Twitter is a short burst of inconsequential information according to the founders. Stop pretending it isn't ;-)....

rightguy said...

The East Coast elites seem to equate good writing (and speaking) with good thinking. But, good writing should express your thoughts precisely and engagingly. So what happens if you have flawed thinking and you write well? Speciousness. Think Maureen Dowd. (Sorry if that seems obvious, but McWhorter apparently missed it.)

For the record, I voted for President Trump and will do so again. But the man has no facility with language and I have trouble both reading and listening to him. However, you can know him by his actions.

rhhardin said...

Ann, if President Obama communicated like Trump your Althouse Hillbillies would have been screaming “Ebonics!” everyday.

Ebonics has a rigorous grammar and usages for mood and tense. It doesn't happen to be standard English's.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/African-American_Vernacular_English

Scroll down to Tense and Aspect, for example.

PuertoRicoSpaceport.com said...

Two examples. We now have 3 Muslims in Congress (Carson, Omar, Tlaib). Muslims repeatedly tell us that their loyalty is to Islam and Islam alone; that the law of Islam,

Not just that, it is far worse. One of them, Tlaib I think, said that she represents the Palestinian people in Palestine.

Even though she is supposed to represent the people of her districts and her first loyalty is to the Constitution.

John Henry

Henry said...

Interesting to me is that forrest is a perfectly sound phonetic spelling of the word.

My youngest son has an terrific grasp of phonics. He was able to write readable sentences at a very young age. All misspelled of course. The problem he runs into now, occasionally, is completely mispronouncing non-standard words. You read a word in a book, apply phonetics, and get something completely different.

* * *

McWhorter missed an obvious slam by allusion: Not Gump but Nathan Bedford.

Henry said...

Credit to John Henry for spotting the Nathan Bedford Forrest possibility first.

tim in vermont said...

All this time, I thought it was Mark Twain who said that. It’s true no matter what. Stonewall Trump. I think I said that before.

Drago said...

Once written: "Ann, if President Obama communicated like Trump your Althouse Hillbillies would have been screaming “Ebonics!” everyday."

LOL

Another hypothetical and lefty projected "crime" that republicans are explicitly blamed for while the actual language destroying policies of real leftists who are pushing ebonics on young children (which will unquestionably harm their educations and future) is glossed right over.

What an absolutely perfect lefty comment.

Gretchen said...

We should replace the electoral college with a spelling bee.

narayanan said...

Let us not forget most relevant misspelling(!?)for the United States creation -

INALIENABLE / UNALIENABLE

Larry J said...

Woodrow Wilson was an academic. He viewed "Birth of a Nation" in the White House, segregated the civil service, and violated the rights of many people during WWI.

Academics base their entire worth on credentials, many of them worthless in the private sector. They believe in socialism because they're convinced they'll be the ones calling the shots (which, when you're talking about socialism, isn't necessarily limited to running things).

TerriW said...

I have a child with dyslexia and people like McWhorter are the reason he thinks he's stupid. Thanks a lot, dude.

(McWhorter is also pretty forgiving of non-standard English when it doesn't chafe against his politics.)

tim in vermont said...

Ann, if President Obama communicated like Trump your Althouse Hillbillies would have been screaming “Ebonics!” everyday.

Has anybody seen Obama’s zombie army of “corpse men” or taken a ride to Europe on his “intercontinental railroad”?

But no, I don’t scream “Ebonics” I just question how he got into Columbia and Harvard if he was that ill-educated.

But it’s interesting to be called a racist by a commenter to uses racist language every time he or she comments, I will say that.

traditionalguy said...

Spelling as perfection is not that great of a talent. But DJT's tweets with strange spellings are the way a President nods his agreement with Q posts. Now that is a scandal: How dare he use a code to laugh at his enemies.

tim in vermont said...

iF President Obama communicated like Trump

What is the gravitational constant in your universe?

chuck said...

Why is this McWhorter genius guy publishing in a faux intellectual magazine like The Atlantic?

rehajm said...

it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae

tim in vermont said...

Imagine if Trump talked about there being 58 states, including “New Pennsylvania.”

Bob Boyd said...

God save us from the teachers' pets.

tim maguire said...

Once written, twice... said...Ann, if President Obama communicated like Trump your Althouse Hillbillies would have been screaming “Ebonics!” everyday.

There's a reason Obama rarely spoke without a teleprompter. His reputation as a great mind was pure media invention. In truth, he was a thoroughly mediocre thinker.

rhhardin said...Ebonics has a rigorous grammar and usages for mood and tense. It doesn't happen to be standard English's.

Great point--Ebonics is a legitimate dialect and Once Written's insinuation that it is just bad English is racist.

Professional lady said...

I was an adult literacy tutor for over 15 years. I plan on going back to it when I retire. My experience is that different people's brains work very differently. A student I worked with for many years was (is) very intelligent in my opinion. As with many people with reading difficulty, due to circumstances, he didn't get the help he needed as a child when he needed it. One of the most difficult things to teach was proper spelling. When I explained to him that my husband, who is very intelligent, was also a poor speller, he was amazed. He realized that he was not stupid just because correct spelling was difficult for him. I cannot read music. I also have trouble telling right from left. When I was a kid, I was older than normal before I figured out how to tell time. I think it had to do with being left handed for writing and right handed for just about everything else. In other words, my brain works differently.

Kevin said...

McWhorter lays out the Dem’s best grounds for impeachment.

Leland said...

For me, it is: curse you homophones! Their. or maybe, they're. Ok, there!

One more thought; I get annoyed with progressives, who claim to know what I'm thinking and can even categorize my ideological beliefs in their social media tools; yet they act like I cannot communicate and get my point across, if I don't write the way they prefer. If you can pick up "micro expressions" and body language; then worrying about the proper spelling of a word seems like trivial stuff.

Anonymous said...

Ann, if President Obama communicated like Trump your Althouse Hillbillies would have been screaming “Ebonics!” everyday.

We'll probably never know. President Obama wasn't (and isn't) big on extemporaneous communication.

I will add that his reluctance is not without justification. The few times I've seen him speak off-teleprompter, off-canned-speeches, he sounded awful. So bad, I felt bad for the guy.

Sebastian said...

Wait, so McWhorter is in favor of literacy tests for the presidency? Also for any other offices? Also for voting?

Careful what you wish for, John.

PuertoRicoSpaceport.com said...

Blogger narayanan said...

INALIENABLE / UNALIENABLE

Not a misspelling. UN-alienable is different from IN-alienable.

I had mentioned John McPhee's recent book on writing a few weeks ago. (I highly recommend it) and he has a chapter on distinctions like this, though not this one in particular.

For example the distinction between "further" and "farther". I always thought of them as synonymous and he explains that farther is a measurable amount "Milwaukee is 10 miles father away than Madison"

Further is a relative term "Milwaukee is further away than Madison"

John Henry

Bob Boyd said...

You go into these news rooms on the East Coast and, like a lot of Colleges around the country, the administration jobs and the access have been gone now for 2 years and nothing's replaced them. And the Democrats said somehow they'd overturn the election and that prestige and status were gonna regenerate and they have not.

And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to spelling or punctuation or antipathy toward people who aren't like them or anti-American sentiment or anti-Trump sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

tim in vermont said...

There used to be a joke that six decades on this planet have borne out. C students hire A students. It’s the C students doing the hiring, in case you missed the point.

PuertoRicoSpaceport.com said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
narciso said...

Well that misses the point:

http://thefederalist.com/2019/01/14/missing-key-documents-alleged-misconduct-robert-muellers-lead-prosecutor/

Mike said...

I think you and everyone else are missing McWhorter's point. He's not saying the President should be a talented wordsmith. He's saying that the President's sloppy language betrays a lack of thought and insight. That the President is not a man who thinks about issues, but someone who reacts sans facts and bases his decisions on that emotional reaction, not any consideration. He is, of course, right on that. Everyone who has dealt with Trump has described him as intellectually lazy, unwilling to read anything, close-minded and biased. You can contrast that against Reagan or Ike, who were frequently described as "unlettered" but were curious, interested and engaged in policy.

Charlie Currie said...

Trump is up to date on the latest in academic thought.

"University seminar teaches faculty not to judge ‘quality’ of writing when grading"

narciso said...

Um no, trump has been focused on trade and defense policy for quite some years now, whether one agrees or disagrees with them is another question.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

Trump doesn't write well. He should tweet over the top of the hack press, but only when necessary. Restraint would serve him well.

Florence said...

I have no idea whether his tweet misspellings are honest mistakes from typing too fast and not proofreading, whether they are indications that he can’t spell, or even whether the mistakes were intentional.

But what I do know is that every tweet that has a misspelling gets much more press than the ones without.

Trump tweets almost every day. Most of his tweets do not contain misspelled words, and hence they don’t get quite as much attention.

Darrell said...

Trump is known to Twitter without looking at the screen. He doesn't use his reading glasses either. Obama had a fairly large staff to do his Tweets--I heard nine, at one time.

Real people take no account of trifles. All typos--mistakes-- are eventually fixed.

Ralph L said...

I will add that his reluctance is not without justification.

That's could be a major reason the Obamas didn't socialize enough to satisfy official Washington.

David Hackett Fischer said Ebonics evolved from the West Country English dialect.

Tom said...

Growing up I had all A's in elements except spelling and handwritng. My teachers and parents acted like these were the worst offenses. I turned into a terrible student who refused to do homework. I barely escaped high school. In college, where there was less bs work, I did well... Grad school even better. Over the last 5 years, I've continued grad school at any Ivy League school and found I'm just as smart as anyone there.

stevew said...

I'll take his, and anyone else's, misspellings over auto-correct - that thing often creates very, very awkward moments.

narciso said...

Well in the early 80s the sophisticated point of view was that of scheer a Maoist and Talbot a KGB stooge, they counseled surrender to the Soviets, much as they did re thr Kim dynast.

Ralph L said...

Everyone who has dealt with Trump has described him as intellectually lazy, unwilling to read anything, close-minded and biased.

An inamiable dunce. We heard this before in the 70's and 80's.

chickelit said...

I always thought McWhorter was a bit of a McWhinger.

William said...

Lord Curzon, in his replies to correspondents, would take the liberty of pointing out the spelling and grammatical errors in their previous letters. This included love letters from wives and mistresses. Lord Curzon could never understand why he never became Prime Minister despite his high birth and fabulous brain power.

rcocean said...

Trump doesn't care about misspelling on twitter since his critics grab on to that, and give his tweets wider publicity.

McWhtorter hates Trump and if he wasn't writing about his bad spelling would be attacking Trump for something else.

BTW, typing and spelling aren't the same thing. I have trouble Typing words correctly, but spell them correctly when I slow down and write with a pen.

Fernandinande said...

1 - "He cannot write sentences" is not demonstrated by mistakes in spelling and capitalization.

2 - Mick Worter can't even spell his own name.

Kovacs said...

As several examples of your great writers/bad spellers note: they relied on the filter of editors and proofreaders to catch their mistakes when they were writing for a public audience. They presumably would've been embarrassed if their writings actually had reached the public riddled with typos and spelling errors. Trump is too arrogant to appreciate the value of that filter and doesn't think his intended audience cares or will recognize his sub-literate messaging, which is sadly true. And then he probably also realizes that there are sycophantic traitors to good writing like you and Glenn Reynolds who will try to recast his illiteracy as a virtue.

rcocean said...

Yes, being a good speller is one of those odd skills related to nothing. It's like being good at chess or foreign languages.

If you read and write a lot, you come to recognize the correct spelling, but that doesn't mean you can actually know how to spell it, when writing at a fast clip.

Another problem is that people use "Spell Check" as a crutch and have stopped proof reading.

Char Char Binks, Esq. said...

I'm not sure Trump CAN'T write well; he CHOOSES not to. His medium is Twitter, not The Atlantic. Did people complain about Taft's curt style in writing telegrams?

"Ann, if President Obama communicated like Trump your Althouse Hillbillies would have been screaming “Ebonics!” everyday."

The left would have been wokily praising his authentically groidal language skills.

rcocean said...

I've never seen any evidence that Obama was anything but "intellectually lazy" and Bush-II was supposed to be a dumb Cowboy as was Reagan, but both men read constantly.

Meanwhile, JFK was fraudulently portrayed as some great intellect and lover of culture.

MadisonMan said...

I'm a great speller, always have been. I've worked as an editor too, correcting others' errors.

My assumption is that Trump may be spelling poorly to tweak people, and to make his tweets memorable. But, like Kovacs' assumption of arrogance, mine might be wrong.

narciso said...

Strobe talbott having no understanding of how Reagan succeeded, was named by Clinton as his Russian coordinator, where unexpectedly he helped shaped the environment in which Putin arose, along with Larry summers and Jeff sachs

Meade said...

HALP US JON MCQUARTER —
WE R STUCK HEAR N TRUMPS TWITTER!

William said...

I don't think Trump operates on a high moral plane, but I see no reason to doubt his sanity or intelligence. The people who advance arguments against his smarts, his looks, and his mental balance have never travelled their entire life on private jets and never once negotiated a liaison with a Playmate of theYear. Trump has successfully looked out for number one his entire life, and, so far at least, he has successfully looked out for the interests of the United States...... Any spelling errors you perceive.are the fault of autocorrect, I'm a pretty good speller, and yet I've never been considered for high office or for paramour of a Playmate if the Year. Life is so unfair.

iowan2 said...

Lots of comments, for the professor. (1 f in professor?) Successful people get that way because people like the good professor misunderestimates the opponent, based on something meaningless, like spelling. (in my case it's too lazy to proof read)
We used to have a commentator that was King of the true, meaningless fact

Seeing Red said...

Eat Mor Chikin

Char Char Binks, Esq. said...

BTW, "screaming 'Ebonics!' everyday' should be "screaming 'Ebonics!' every day".

Nonapod said...

When I type fast I'm an awful speller and I'll often make a specific sort of grammatical error, using a homophone rather than the correct word. It's really annoying. I guess it's because I hear what I'm saying in my head first.

Seeing Red said...

This generation doesn’t write.

McWhorter should get used to that.

William said...

Lenin was considered a great intellect by the great intellects of his age. Warren Harding was not similarly esteemed by the great intellects of his age. Nonetheless, it's fair to say that Harding had a more successful term in office than Lenin........,Whilst in the Senate, Harding authored anti-lynching legislation. His record on civil rights was far superior to that of Woodrow Wilson. What we need.is a rap musical about the virtues of Warren Harding.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

Some people are eloquent and totally full of shit.

Some people are clumsy, but really want what is best for the nation they love.

Some people set up Private Servers while head of the State Dept and totally get away with it because the DOJ under Obama and the FBI are corrupt.

Seeing Red said...

Phonics vs whole language.

Those elite idiots have been trying to find a way around phonics for decades.

Txtng just might have done it.

Chuck said...

Of course Althouse and the other Trump apologists miss and maliciously conflate McWhorter's point. McWhorter had gone out of his way to say that poor spelling, or other language deficiencies, or even a fundamental lack of education in the U.S President is not fatal or disqualifying. McWhorter repeatedly drew the example of Harry Truman, who had barely a high school education, but who nevertheless displayed a wide range of interests in literature, art and culture, along with a disarming self-deprecation about such things.

About Trump, McWhorter's larger point was that Trump's peculiar brand of repetitive errors evidences a fundamentally uncurious mind. A mind that is an extremely odd blend of adolescent indifference and non-discipline, with an old man's close-mindedness.

The suggestion that "some great writers were still terrible leaders" makes me wonder if McWhorter's critics actually read the column.


RNB said...

The mandarins sneer delicately at his inferior calligraphy.

I'm Full of Soup said...

Prof McWhorter: I'm a fan of urs but dis analysis is so stoopid.

Bill Peschel said...

Didn't we just spend this weekend going over a direct quote from Occasional-Cortex and trying to suss out exactly what she meant? And failed?

And yet she's the media's new darling because she's a hawt socialist.

narciso said...

Harry Truman had some smart instincts re dripping the nuke, but he wanted to introduce national health care as far back as 1948, and he had a strong contempt for the military particularly the marines, codevillas review of the brands book shows he didnt understand modern warfare either

rehajm said...

Serial misuse of public language is one of many shortcomings that betray lack of fitness:

New party, who dis?

Michael said...

Have a look at our best selling author's thesis. She slaughters the language. Kills it.

robother said...

I dunno. President Clinton mounted a successful defense against an impeachment conviction based on his confusion about the meaning of "is."

Meade said...

Chuck, you've been asked to leave.

Unknown said...

I think he can write correct sentences (at least as well as any of his immediate there predecessors), but knows that effective communication doesn't have to be grammatically perfect. In fact, a little imprecision helps.

hstad said...

Blogger chuck said..."...Why is this McWhorter genius guy publishing in a faux intellectual magazine like The Atlantic?..."1/14/19, 8:40 AM

Because most of their journalists graduated from Columbia's journalism school where McWhorter plies his illicit trade!

Fernandinande said...

Jane Austen? F. Scott Fitzgerald?

I can outmisspell those guys:

Ingto fand padmileary actis verget accoman Trumply.

McWhy Wortehing meassesical amphrastand gooll Donaritery ord, Donvenshimpaill arrittenter wrials arsposing.

Rusimp annowithat happrexten waiged eld solly dente se faut.

Conat thationshutich narter arded nall Gumps!

stevew said...

Nixon was crook. Ford was unqualified because he was a bumbling fool. Reagan was unqualified because he was an intellectual lightweight and former B-movie actor. H.W. Bush was unqualified because he was a former spook and he lied about raising taxes. G.W. Bush was a dolt and dunderhead, also an intellectual lightweight. Trump is a bad speller, womanizer, lazy, etc. etc.

I'm seeing a theme here...

Ralph L said...

Meanwhile, JFK was fraudulently portrayed as some great intellect and lover of culture.

I was shocked that Netflix's The Crown pulled no punches against JFK. And before #MeToo.

Martin said...

Spelling errors while tweeting is the worst McWhorter can come up with?

Hell, I VOTED for Trump and I can come up with far worse than that.

All this denigration of Trump's character or intelligence leaves me quite cold. Show me a better candidate and I will be interested. But otherwise, STFU.

Rick.T. said...

This is one of the best posts I've ever had the pleasure of reading here over many years. Well dun!

iowan2 said...

More thoughts.
First impression, we are constantly reminded, are important. What I have learned, through failures, is what I use to make those first impressions can be highly flawed. I also continue the contacts, after first impressions with an open mind, and am careful not to box myself into a position that might change as information grows.
Assuming a person that appearsto lack certain markers for success, can be just wrong.
We are far enough into the Trump Presidency to be way past the first impression stage of judgement. That a professor is ignorant of this very simple fact, signifies a credentialed person ignoring his own education to craft a narrative, relieved of factual evidence.

Fernandinande said...

dyslexia

Treatable with CDB.

jimbino said...

Obama to this day continues to use the construction "The problem is, is that ...." I wonder whether he could manage to do that if reading from a Teleprompter.

What a great country Amerika is, where any hayseed immigrant can get right off the boat, walk into the White House, and carry on a well-matched conversation with the President!

It appears that being highly skilled in STEM, like Thatcher and Merkel, has long been considered a disqualification for elevation to both POTUS and SCOTUS.

tcrosse said...

Next will be a critique of Trump's table manners. How can we tolerate a President who uses the wrong fork for the fish?

walter said...

“It’s a damn poor mind that can think of only one way to spell a word!”
That's great..very inclusive.

So where is this presidential fitness test he speaks of? I remember something like that in grade school.

narciso said...

Thatcher was a chemist but also a barrister, recall the way python treated her in the 70s.
Merkel despite being a physicist is too sentimental.

CWJ said...

"About Trump, McWhorter's larger point was that Trump's peculiar brand of repetitive errors evidences a fundamentally uncurious mind."

That's certainly McWhorter's assertion. However, the path from A to B is hardly clear. That that is the conclusion McWhorter draws from Trump's errors speaks more to McWhorter's snobbish presumptions than to Trump's mental habits.

narciso said...

And Cameron was a credentialed idiot, it takes that to sign up cap and trade and the Libyan intervention

Tommy Duncan said...

I wore out a New Collegiate Dictionary in college trying to spell correctly. My spelling, coupled with my typing and old guy eyesight, makes posting comments a real challenge.

PM said...

Despite the impressive list of supporters, I'm embarrassed for bad spellers.

Bob Boyd said...

When Trump's right hemisphere provides him something he's pleased with, he doesn't feel a need to run it past his left hemisphere before sharing it with the rest of us.
I don't mind that.

Infinite Monkeys said...

I like listening to McWhorter's lectures, but unless he also said that Obama's grammatical mistakes while speaking showed a lack of fitness for the presidency, I think he's operating under confirmation bias here. He could also be fulfilling the expectations of his friends and acquaintances in denouncing the way Trump writes/talks.

I like to think that if William Safire were still alive and writing On Language, he would appreciate Trump's tweets. Perhaps he wouldn't, but I bet his observations on them would be more interesting.

tcrosse said...

Trump has cast a spell.

tcrosse said...

I miss Safire's assistants, Norma Loquendi and Rosey Scenario.

Drago said...

Meade: "HALP US JON MCQUARTER —
WE R STUCK HEAR N TRUMPS TWITTER!"

Well played Meade, in particular because the same lefties and the smear-merchanting LLR lap poodles pulled precisely the same thing on W (via Kerry) that they are pulling on Trump.

This was in addition to the chickenhawk slurs against W that those same lefties/LLR's are pulling on Trump.

We see those very tactics deployed by our own MSNBC-praising fanboy LLR Chuck who never once, under any circustances, has commented negatively on the service records of any dems for any reason. Quite the opposite in fact as LLR Chuck strongly defended the astonishingly dishonest and dishonorable Stolen Valor lies of Da Nang Dick Blumenthal. LLR Chuck bent over backwards to push lies about how often Blumenthal had lied about his service.

That was an early clue that perhaps some LLR's were much less "republican-y" than meets the eye.

pacwest said...

The phrase educated idiots comes to mind. It's been around as long as I can remember, and I'm sure Trump is familiar with it/them from his business career. The farther I progressed in my life the more of them I met. Common sense has become a rare commodity in my estimation. I'm not willing to say that Trump has any abundance of it, but the solutions he has put forward sure seem to resemble it.

Did I misspell anything? I do so want to show my erudition for all to see and admire.

tim in vermont said...

About Trump, McWhorter's larger point was that Trump's peculiar brand of repetitive errors evidences a fundamentally uncurious mind.

Some might say “incurious” but our Chuck can’t even properly transcribe his talking points, he is in such a drooling hurry to post them here.

tim in vermont said...

What did Obama’s swiveling head, as he jumped between TelePrompTers as if watching a tennis match evidence? That he knew his place and let others write his words for him? People who knew better than him? The people in the deep state?

Jupiter said...

John McWhorter is an affirmative action hire. If he were white, he would only be published in third-rate academic journals that no one reads. Because he's not very bright.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

I don't believe Trump is typing his tweets. Even if the poor spelling is not an impeachable offense, the inability to hire someone who can spell might be.

rehajm said...

I'm trppd... in an ATM vstbl... wth Jll Gdcr!

Bruce Hayden said...

A couple thoughts. First, this is really, I think, a class thing. A good part of using proper grammar and spelling is class signaling. Very much akin to the Brits showing their class by their accents (the latter a result of the Prof Higgins episode of Magnum PI that I saw last night, where Higgins there taught a lower class woman how to talk posh in order to marry into her fiancé's posh family). This is something that was beat into us by our mother, who taught us that from a young age. We were (of course) destined for upper middle class careers, and she tried to convince us that if we wanted to be successful there, we had to write like we belonged there. She was still correcting my grammar and my manners as I entered my 50s. The class though that is impressed with good spelling and good grammar mostly voted for Crooked Hillary this last election. No doubt, my mother would have, despite having been probably a fifth generation Republican. And that is the thing - the last election was a class election, with much of the top of the middle class, traditionally Republican, voting for the Democrat, because she obviously came from their class, and the Republican didn't appear to have. And, yes, a lot of their recoil at Trump is classist, but that classism assumes that those who sound and appear better educated are smarter and better qualified to lead. People just like themselves. Trump, of course, picked up the votes of the opposite, traditionally Democratic, demographic - the working class, who very often resent the elitism and snobbiness of the upper middle class.

But I also don't think that Trump really is that much of a deep thinker. He is a doer instead. And that is why he was elected, and why he is much more successful than his deeper thinking predecessors. The deep thinkers get mired down in the details. Trump seems to have a way of cutting through the BS that mires getting things done in DC. He sees what needs to be done, tries do do it, and when problems arise, shifts his approach, and does it all in real time. And his critics are still stuck on Phase1. The funny thing is that all of the deep thinkers who criticize him never really understood the problems that internationalism brought us in trade or geopolitics. For example, theoretically all cultures are equivalent. Until you apply a pragmatic metric to them, and it is fairly obvious that Judeo/Christian is superior to Muslim, Confuscism, etc by the results. We live in the world that we do, with the technologies and freedoms that we have, because of that superiority. The deep thinkers don't see that, because they get mired down in the details.

Wince said...

I find Trump's Tweets -- even the more jocular ones -- succinct and incisive, telling me exactly what he thinks, oftentimes in a way that I hadn't considered before.

And isn't that the point?

Drago said...

Left Bank of the Charles: "I don't believe Trump is typing his tweets. Even if the poor spelling is not an impeachable offense, the inability to hire someone who can spell might be."

LOL

Good old Left Bank, always on the cutting edge of 3 years ago!!

Look up Dan Scavino and while you are at it:
https://www.google.com/amp/s/thehill.com/homenews/administration/388721-wh-aides-intentionally-compose-trump-tweets-with-grammatical-mistakes%3famp

BTW, its never a good idea to go Full LLR Chuck.

tcrosse said...

The class though that is impressed with good spelling and good grammar mostly voted for Crooked Hillary this last election.

Although Hillary is just as much a parvenue as Trump.

Michael Fitzgerald said...

Progs are passing word that the Russian Collusion narrative is a bust, so the next impeachment excuse is for High Crimes and Misspellings.

HT said...

"If you spell badly but write well," World's Number One Dump Defender said.

But Dump does not write well, in any case.

To compare Dump to past presidents, no matter the president, is an insult to that president and the presidency.

I love John McWhorter.

Birkel said...

Trump tweets that Democrats must not see a PURPLE ELEPHANT and that gets Leftists all atwitter.

Immediately the Leftist Collectivists set about proving there are no PUTPLE ELEPHANTS to be found.
And they search high and low: vanity.

Pattern?

Karen of Texas said...

"If a tree falls in a forrest and no one is there to hear it … wait: Pretty much all of you noticed that mistake, right?"

I suggest he sit in on freshman college English classes across the country. He might be surprised to find that his "pretty much all...noticed that mistake..." is being very generous.

bagoh20 said...

The "educated" class can't even understand the basic human rights protections in the Constitution. Therefore, I put no value in their ideas of much else. Higher education today is a bastion of stupidity, illogic and cruelty unmatched anywhere else in the nation including any bowling alley or local bar even late in the evening. The stupidest things ever written or said have come from those educated in the modern university. It's drowning in new religions, sexism, racism and fascism, but the hard science labs are pretty cool.

bagoh20 said...

If a tree falls in a forest and no one is there to hear it, I'm pretty sure that's still Trump's fault.

Bay Area Guy said...

On his stated subject, linguistics, McWhorter is very good.

On politics, well, he's a bit off.

It's simply another example of the lack of standards or double-standard of the Left.

If the standard is, written spelling error = bad president, that's pretty high. Indeed, it would knock out most Presidents, including President Obama.

Anyone can scrutinize the written words of people you don't like to find errors, and then impose a one sided standard, and then declare that said disfavored person has violated said one-sided standard, and, hence, is unfit for office.

It takes no brains, talent or insight to do this. Sadly, McWhorter, has succumbed to this intellectual temptation.




Karen of Texas said...

@rehajm - Put Joey on the phone...

tim in vermont said...

But Dump does not write well, in any case.

He Tweeted his way to that “dump” on Pennsylvania Avenue. He just doesn’t write stuff you agree with, and the people who do agree with him are people you. wish didn’t have a vote.

Fernandinande said...

UN-alienable is different from IN-alienable.

They're synonyms.

I enjoy the creative definitions people sometimes post here, they make me want to start using my own private dictionary.

bagoh20 said...

Only any idiot could build billions of dollars in wealth, employ thousands, and become President of the United States by defeating the smartest woman in the world backed by Hollywood, the media, every newspaper and magazine in the country, The FBI, the acting President, and the Justice Department - what an incompetent rube.

tim in vermont said...

People who spelled great and knew when to use adverbs or adjectives got us into multiple world wars, just saying.

stevew said...

So long as he doesn't use "I" when "me" is correct I'm good with whatever.

HT said...

"He just doesn’t write stuff you agree with,"

That is true.

" and the people who do agree with him are people you. wish didn’t have a vote. "

That is not true.

bagoh20 said...

"Nearly every time he puts thumb to keypad, he exposes that he has never progressed beyond the mentality of the precollegiate, trash-talking teen."

Well, at least he found his way out of school and built something more than his own words on paper. When are you going to graduate to the real world and make your billions Mr. McWhorter?

Bob Boyd said...

McWhorter can't see the forrest fur the treez.

Bay Area Guy said...

I know a lot of great spellers and grammatarians. They are good at editing and making documents precise.

These are the people you hire, because while good at the details, they often lack a broader vision of how to achieve bigger objectives.

tim in vermont said...

That is not true

Then what are they supposed to do? Accept Obama’s and Hillary’s judgement that the economy has moved on and that they need to be replaced by immigrants willing to do the new jobs cheaply enough to keep the money flowing into the Manhattan, Chicago, and San Fransisco?

Or should they support a man willing to fight for them? Or should they just passively accept that the owning classes of the US have found ways to get rich whether the jobs are done by the equivalent of slave labor in China or Viet Nam, or though trade advantages to Europe? Abandon their economic lives because Trump doesn’t spell great?

Nobody else is speaking for them. The same thing is going on with “Les Deplorables” in France, the gilet jaunes. Didn’t they get the memo from Davos that their way of life is over? That the elite classes in Paris don’t need them any longer to stay wealthy? Third World workers with zero bargaining power will work just fine? Better actually.

Gk1 said...

More oikophobia and anti-trump chum to start the day with. Ho hum. I wonder if liberals like the human body will wind up burning out their outrage circuit in their bodies and require insulin or some other republican hatred supplement to replace trump once he leaves office?

bagoh20 said...

What we really need in a President is good spelling and grammar is something nobody ever said or believed, but since the Dems have passed on every other sensible qualification for the job, at least that's something.

Howard said...

The outhouse grammar Nazis seem to be absent on this thread

Known Unknown said...

The typos are on purpose. I think it is true that Trump does not have a significant command of the language, but this is simple distraction. Critics (like Cillizza and McWhorter) jump on the trivial aspect and the greater message gets through to the populace at large.

Known Unknown said...

"was shocked that Netflix's The Crown pulled no punches against JFK. And before #MeToo."

I was stunned when Selma even mentioned the existence of MLK Jr's womanizing.

NotWhoIUsedtoBe said...

There were a lot of people who thought John Kerry's meandering and indecipherable speech was more understandable than George W. Bush's misspoken words. Kerry tried to hide meaning, Bush garbled it. The difference was Bush's meaning was always clear, and Kerry's was a matter of speculation.

Same crap with Trump. You really can't tell "forrest" means "forest?" Are you dumb? You realize almost everyone has a set of words they misspell over and over, right? How insulting can you be?

Trump's audience cares about meaning, not execution. I'm sure Trump could hire McWhorter as a copy editor if he felt it mattered. Spontaneity is more important than polish.

I loathe internet spell checkers. Get a real job. I already have a copy editor. I don't need another.

mesquito said...

I can spell “Hendrick Hertzberg.”

NotWhoIUsedtoBe said...

If you want to get Trump, stop pretending he is unqualified based on what he says. If that mattered, he never would have made it to the Presidency.

No one cares about the lies.

No one cares.

Hit Trump on issues, like the continuing wars. Or the economy taking a crap right after he put tariffs on our biggest trading partners. It's not hard, guys. Facts exist. Or you can keep erupting over Trump tweets.

Not that I care much. I'm not a liberal or a Democrat. Y'all keep doing what you're doing.

iowan2 said...

Interesting, that a Professor of English Lit, and linguistics, come into the fray after more that 3 years of data to evaluate the President as to his communications prowess.
Interesting that credentialed experts across academia have either ignored President Trump, their right of course, or weighed in, and gotten it wrong.
A cartoonist and Hypnotist, predicted during the primaries that President Trump was a master persuader,and laid out the facts to support his predictions. Candidate Trump is now President Trump, and the credentialed like McWhorter, see the results, and still cannot get to facts, that disprove their thesis to line up with their conclusions. ds
Credentialed indeed.

Jim at said...

We are living in some peaceful and prosperous times

My thoughts exactly. I mean, if this is what they're bitching about now, gawd help them if/when a true crisis hits.

n.n said...

Both content and color (e.g. spelling) have value in context, in proportion.

Yancey Ward said...

This is probably not an intentional error, but it still serves the same purpose- the essayist was forced to repeat Trump's tweet.

Yancey Ward said...

Being a pedant is tricky art, and McWhorter fails spectacularly. Even worse, though, is the use of the word "sentences" in this context. The focus is on a spelling error, not the sentence itself.

Birkel said...

John Lynch:

Economy =/= Stock Market

Main Street > Wall Street

Those are simple things to remember.

Molly said...

(eaglebeak)

Just sent a letter to the editor of the Atlantic commenting that McWhorter's article was an exercise in silliness, an obsession with trivialities.

Trump's message was clarity itself. McWhorter's article has the same weight as saying Trump isn't fit to be President because he missed a spot when shaving this morning.

Tommyrot.

Drago said...

John Lynch: ". Or the economy taking a crap right after he put tariffs on our biggest trading partners."

???!!!

The economy under Trump continues to rock despite the political increases in the interest rates by Powell at the Fed.

Amexpat said...

Good writing, like good shooting, is a valuable skill. Neither has a moral component.

Bad analogy. If good shooting is part of your job, such as with the police, you should make every effort to pass muster. It is morally wrong to use firearms if you don't have the needed competency.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

I'm an excellent speller, always have been. I won every spelling bee i was ever in (Except one. Damn. Colossal not collossal).

But when it comes to writing I have always found that an anal commitment to technical perfection is a major hindrance. My creative writing career never took off, at least in part due to a tendency to recheck every hyphen, dash and semicolon.

I completely agree with Hemingway and Andrew Jackson. It's better to let the words flow. As long as there is someone, an editor, who can assign the correct meanings to your misspellings, let 'er rip.

Yancey Ward said...

Lynch, above, is right- there are word spellings that trouble everyone over and over. Even McWhorter will have words like that- probably even unaware that he has misspelled them most of the time. I know there are several words all the time I have to routinely check the spelling if I don't want to make an error. I usually eliminate the error over time, but then will always find a new and consistently misspelled word to take its place, so my work is never done. For example, I have difficulty with words that end in "ence/ance" and "ent/ant". I think a lot of people have the same problem since I see these words spelled incorrectly all the time. Another problem area for me are words with single and double "esses" or single/double "cees". I usually get the words right, but I still an forced to confirm more often than I like.

Molly said...

(eaglebeak)

Don't quite see where Edmund Wilson got off changing "orgastic" to "orgiastic." Edmund Wilson wrote To the Finland Station, but Fitzgerald wrote The Great Gatsby, for Pete's sake--who was the better writer?

My grandfather taught Edmund Wilson at The Hill School about a thousand years ago. Apparently he was a very annoying boy in boarding school too.

Robert Holmgren said...

McWhorter is a linguist, so he pays attention to language. Trump is a developer who's language skills were good enough to construct a sizable number of buildings that McWhorter may someday aspire to live in.

madAsHell said...

Spelling is just a social construct.

Kevin said...

McWhorter's larger point was that Trump's peculiar brand of repetitive errors evidences a fundamentally uncurious mind.

Perhaps Trump has noticed his Tweets are more widely repeated when they include errors, and thus Trump purposely includes them to make the media do his bidding?

A fundamentally curious mind would have to consider that, and therefore could not reach a conclusion on the issue.

McWhorter indicts no one but himself.

Kevin said...

McWhorter is a linguist, so he pays attention to language.

Trump alters the skyline of the world's largest cities.

Which is the more impressive feat?

walter said...

aka "feet"

Ralph L said...

Apparently he was a very annoying boy in boarding school too.

My brother roomed with 2 Hill School boys his freshman year at UNC. Half of them were annoying and weird.

narciso said...

Oliver stone was hill school '63, if that means anything

alanc709 said...

Woodrow Wilson was our first fascist President, but his spelling was impeccable.

PuertoRicoSpaceport.com said...

Blogger Fernandistein said...

They're synonyms.

I enjoy the creative definitions people sometimes post here, they make me want to start using my own private dictionary.


they are often used as synonyms and they are close but they are different.

You could look it up.

John Henry

Murph said...

Bruce @ 1/14/19, 11:26 AM

Sundance at Conservative Treehouse posted an interesting piece on Trump as a "doer":

"Imagine having a president taking over and bringing the CEO perspective to the operation; who asks, at any given moment in time, entirely unanticipated by those in the middle of the system, for updates on their function?… When is “X” going to happen? Where are we with “X”? How soon before “X” is delivering a result? Who is measuring “X’s” result?… and let the “X-er” group know know I want to talk to them tomorrow, at 9:15am, for 18 to 23 minutes, so I can evaluate their success."
https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2019/01/14/systemic-shock/

Molly said...

(eaglebeak)

As to The Hill School: Many of my relatives went there and, to be fair, not all of them were weird. (My grandfather, the teacher of the annoying Edmund Wilson, was himself a Hill boy, class of 1905.)

Marcus said...

I'm a pretty damn good speller; it came in handy when I started copy editing (as well as editing) at my high school, college and family newspapers. I rarely make spelling errors. I do, however, make plenty of typos. This comes, I think, from a disjunction between my mind telling me what I want to type, and my fingers doing the actual typing. I have pretty bad ADHD which has worsened with age. That, coupled with arthritic hands, keeps me typing rather than printing. I find that when I print, and I use all uppercase letters (with larger letters to begin sentences and so forth -- as my father did), that I skip ahead a letter. I then have to backtrack and correct it. Using pens rather than pencils makes this a messy task. When I want something to be without error, I have to slow down.

It could be worse. I could have no hands.

THEOLDMAN

rehajm said...

Or the economy taking a crap right after he put tariffs on our biggest trading partners.

Obama's half as much economy must be something really gross then...

DEEBEE said...

John does not understand. Trump was talking about GOP forests, thus the extra R. Knowing full well that in a forDest nothing has to happen to hear the noise.

Guildofcannonballs said...

I villified myself for the extra "l" in villified and Trump is trying to, Jesus-like, ease my burden.

We all lack worthiness to be saved by Trump, and we all ought be damed happy he reached down.

PresbyPoet said...

I can't spell. I have mild "dxslecia/", I would never have learned to read in school, but learned before at four.
I don't read word for word, but in clumps. So my weakness is a strength. I read 100 to 200 pages an hour.

I married an English teacher. She can spell. Numbers are her Kryptonite. Both smart. Both with weaknesses. Mary your oposite to cover your weaknes.

Ann Althouse said...

@PresbyPoet

Very nice.