In 1945, the author of my 10th grade English grammar book wrote, “A democracy needs citizens with skill in listening, reading, thinking, and the precise, forceful expression of their ideas.”
Nearly 70 years later, I’m told that grammar really isn’t important any more. They say that as long as you can understand what someone says, it’s not important if he or she can’t recognize a subject from an object of a preposition.
Every company in the world operates in the shadow of obsolescence. Its markets always are in a state of flux: they’re either growing, or they’re shrinking.
No product, much less any brand, enjoys expanding markets forever, and when markets cease growing, it is only a matter of time before they shrink. This undeniable pattern is why every company needs at least one person to be constantly on the lookout for opportunities to apply his company’s assets to the creation of new, customer-satisfying uses.
Every day, you read something about the cost of college: about how hard it is for graduates to find jobs, and how many four-year colleges and universities now offer vocational majors, such as computer game design or new media.
Whether educators believe it or not is hard to tell, but more and more parents apparently believe liberal arts and humanities majors don’t cut it today in the job market.
What has caused this redefining of words we’ve done business with for centuries? It started when we began turning nouns into verbs. The most recent, and absurd, example of word misplay is the pompous use of the noun transition as a verb.
Yesterday, we said, “She’s changing jobs.” Today, you hear that, “She’s transitioning to a new job.” It’s twice as many words, and, surely, you realize how affected that sounds.
Why don’t people disappear anymore? Now they have “gone missing,” a grammatical train wreck and just plain silly.