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Fitness Trainer Unfit to Write

I’m part-way through an email promotion for what the fitness trainer alleges to be the most amazing discovery about how to flatten your abs ever revealed. I come to this headline:

“Big Mistake No. 1: You’re Core Isn’t Working Properly.”

And that short, profoundly ignorant sentence undermines the guy’s credibility. I want to shout at him: “Wrong. Big Mistake No. 1 is: Your Brain Isn’t Working Properly.”

your stupid

Bad grammar mirrors society’s decline

Perhaps the butchering of the English language that is occurring in these times is a result of the general decline of civilization evidenced by mass murders; obesity caused by the cheap, unhealthy food offered in supermarkets and restaurants; a political climate in which the world’s scientists are disparaged as knowing less about climate change than the average person on the street; a worship of tangible, transitory things over immanent, permanent matters of spiritual essence; and concomitantly, a disinterest in the arts in favor of simplistic entertainment, exemplified most notably by the replacement of sophisticated musical tastes with primitive sounds best defined as cacophonic noise and by mindless television fare whose quintessence is reality shows.

Or perhaps this deracination of the language is a reflection, rather than a product, of deteriorating standards. It’s just part of an ineluctable movement.

Reason for hope


Curiously, the obverse is taking place simultaneously with some manifestations of this phenomenon. The epidemic of violence among young people has led to a searching for the causes, whether they be insensitive computer games, a proliferation of guns in our society, or the breakdown of family life. While there are more grossly overweight people than ever before, a trend toward healthy diets, which has driven the production of organic food, and emphasis on exercise is the other side of this coin. Action to counter the man-made causes of climate extremes is being waged on many fronts. And jazz music, America’s original art form, is experiencing a resurgence, though audiences for classical music are, admittedly, on the decline.

Your, or you’re?

What was it that sent me off on this tangent of ruminations about the current state of society? None other than that egregious misuse of the contraction you’re. The increasing prevalence of the reverse error is bad enough: the use of your when you’re is the intended meaning. That departure from standard English is at least somewhat understandable: It’s either a lazy minimization or an simple ignorance of linguistic


Protesting these abominations likely is tantamount to tilting at windmills, but maybe in some tiny way, it will make them turn more slowly.

#English #grammar #youre #your

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