That’s not a croissant on your lapel

Maybe no one else cares about grammar and spelling.

If only I didn’t.

The level of improper English was high before Trump came to office and it’s steadily going downhill since. Not that Trump can be blamed for all of it, despite his Grade 6 comprehension level and Grade 7 vocabulary, comprised largely of superlatives like Fantastic, Fabulous, Great.

A high ranking individual interviewed on CNN recently decried how Trump, on his visit to NATO meetings in Brussels, had failed to reaffirm America’s support of Article 5 of the NATO Accord wherein member nations pledged if one nation was attacked, the other 27 would come to its aid.

“That’s a commitment by which we have been binded since NATO began,” the speaker said.

Now I was taught the proper word is “bound”, not “binded”. I even googled the term in case it had some Old English sanction, but found none. So what led the man to say “binded”?

Another small irritation I ran into yesterday arose in texting exchanges of graduation plans. Seems male high school grads today are asking friends if they are going to a florist to buy croissants to pin on their lapels. The word “corsage” is too difficult for them to spell correctly. And this is the best they can spell after 12 years in a public school?

I’m wondering about florists’ quizzical looks if a grad walks in asking to choose flowers for a croissant. At an average price of roughly $50, that’s an expensive single evening adornment. Might the florist steer them to the nearest bake shop?

That comes close to an @Work anecdote in the January 2017 issue of Reader’s Digest. A teacher asked a student, “Can you use the word “etiquette” in a sentence?”

The student wrote, “I don’t know the meaning of the word “etiquette”.

Even high end publications occasionally substitute the word “jive” when they mean to say something should be in accord with or “jibe”. An autocorrect error? I doubt it.

Here’s a term that at first made me laugh, though the humour soon faded. Writing about a point of view that was being re-tweeted over and over, one person declared it to be “favourited”.

Please, educators. Restore teaching grammar and spelling before the next generation can’t make themselves understood even by their peers.

Words, their proper spelling and meaning have always been important to me, especially since I was a secretary. A boss may be a whiz at his line of expertise but fail on language niceties.

That’s when a secretary can make a manager look good.

Vocabulary building is a fun pastime offering a lifetime of improved comprehension and adept expression.

A knowledge of obscure words can be useful participating in a Scrabble competition. Anytime I got hold of a Reader’s Digest, I took the Word Power quiz and strove to add any new words to my vocabulary. As a rule, I got most of them right.

However, the Word Power quiz in the January 2017 issue is a toughy, all esoteric culinary terms. I scored a dismal eight out of 15.

In my defence, only six were terms I had met before. Deipnosophist I guessed only to prove I’m definitely not one. The word means “skilled in dinner table conversation”.

Batrachophagous I arrived at by adding its individual components topped off by a good guess – it means “one who eats frogs.” I guessed that term by the “phagous” which also appears in medical terms meaning “one type cell destroys another.”

With so many dandy, specific terms already bulging Webster’s dictionary, why not endeavour to bolster current vocabulary and reduce visits to its entries? Why settle for trading lazy, imprecise expressions like croissant for corsage?

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