Jacob “Nitpicky Grammar Person” Weisberg offers us another Bushism today. And, like all such nitpickers, he ignores content in favor of form–as if this were the most important thing in communication, as if this were a sign of intelligence. In today’s installment, Bush has trouble with his plurals and tacks an ‘n’ sound onto “America.” Wow, what inexcusable transgressions those are!
In the end, it’s not really Weisberg’s fault. He’s been taught by our culture and educational system that such nitpicking is proper. I would, however, suggest he look into the history of “correctness” in English usage. I think he might be surprised what he finds there. I suggest he reads The Formation of College English by Thomas P. Miller (U of Pittsburgh P).
Weisberg, of course, would have spoken flawlessly because he’s intelligent–a language expert! Here’s the Bush passage as a true expert would have spoken it:
A goal for this country is peace in the world. And another goal for this country is a compassionate America for every single citizen. That compassion is found in the hearts and souls of the American citizens.