The first question we need to ask when thinking about the legitimacy of Bush's poor speaking habits is how errors like these can be possible when the man has a team of professionals writing out his speeches for him. Surely, as professional writers for the most powerful and visible man in America, they must have more than a passing knowledge of correct grammar. Given this logic, the idea that George W. Bush's poor grammar may be feigned must be considered.
[...] For example, a story ran recently in the Chicago Tribune telling of the travails of several unfortunate individuals who have been caught up in this unfortunate development. One of these hapless people is Robert Johnson, a long time factory worker in the towns of Clinton and Decatur, Illinois. In the article, Stephen Franklin, a writer for the Tribune, relates Johnson's sad story. Six years ago, before he got laid off, Johnson was making $29 an hour, a far cry from the $ 12.25 he makes now. [...]
[...] Mark Crispin Miller, professor at New York University and author of books such as The Bush Dyslexicon: Observations on a National Disorder, argues that Bush does indeed gain an advantage from his poor grammar when he says, "it has enabled his team to depict him as a of the people.'" (Keller) What Miller means is that Bush's vernacular is a ploy to reach the lower, blue-collar class of voters that usually leans to the political left. Oftentimes, these people are uneducated and tend to view educated people as arrogant and untrustworthy. [...]
[...] In their textbook, Understanding English Grammar, Martha Kolln and Robert Funk write the following in regards to the grammar being taught in public schools: The National Council of Teachers of English has taken the position that teachers should respect the dialects of their students. But teachers also have an obligation to teach students to read and write Standard English, the language of public discourse and of the workplace that those students are preparing to join. (Funk) While this policy seems, on the surface, to be very reasonable, I have found it, in my own personal interactions with other college students, to be wholly ineffective. [...]
[...] Roy Peter Clark, vice president of the Poynter Institute in Florida, supplements this idea when he states, "There's definitely a stream of American culture that is suspicious of eloquence, that associates good grammar and intelligent discourse with elitism." (Keller) Now that we have clearly established a motive for the President to feign poor grammar, we must look for evidence that these speaking patterns are counterfeit. The first bit of evidence we have is the articulateness and composure Bush showed during political debates during his Texas years. [...]
[...] With all the other options of entertainment like hundreds of television channels and innumerable amounts of video games available to today's adolescent, the likelihood of a young person wanting to read outside of the material assigned in class grows increasingly slim. Therefore, without a basic understanding of the grammar of the English language that is expanded each year, the student can hardly be expected to take what he has read in class and transfer it to the way he speaks. Of course, another issue that must be explored is the idea that the white- collar world is preferable to the blue. [...]
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