Tired of three things

By Joe Rector

I know that I’m at an age where no one wants to hear what I have to say on any subject. Most folks just call me grumpy, or worse. For years, I commented on most controversial subjects and spared no one’s feelings. I’ve mellowed these days, or at least I feel that I have. Still, sometimes I just have had enough of some topics and can’t keep my mouth shut. This is one of those times, so bear with me.

I’m steaming about the destruction of our language. After having spent 30 years teaching writing and grammar and literature, I’m on a slow burn at what new generations are doing to destroy English. Part of the blame goes to social media. The use of such shortened communications as “lol, lmao, and btw” creeps into formal papers for work or school. Students are no longer able to write in cursive. For some reason, it was dropped from the curricula of schools and replaced with other “serious” courses. I can guarantee folks that the inability to sign one’s name speaks volumes about the quality of one’s education. Something special has been stolen from individuals: their unique signatures.

What still fires me up most of all is the misuse of personal pronouns. Let me list just a few of the INCORRECT uses of pronouns: “Keep this secret between you and I.” “The warning was issued to my husband and I.” Yes, the use of “I” is incorrect. How can you test if a pronoun is the correct one to use? Simply omit the other person listed before the “and.”

Just as confusing is the new, politically correct use of “they” to refer to a transgender person. Now, I have no intention of discussing that topic, but when an individual declares that he or she is transgender, the use of “they” is absurd. We all know, or should know, that ”they’” is plural. I implore those who might be facing this issue to choose one side (he or she) and leave the plural pronoun alone.

Another topic that is wearing thin with me is the worries about artificial intelligence. I’d like a different name for it because intelligence cannot be artificial. What I have observed over the years is that the dependence on computers and cell phones has crippled us mentally. Too often, people let their electronic devices answer their questions. Developers pump more information and capabilities into these items. An easy way to control AI is to limit what we put into programs. If we don’t, the takeover of our society might well happen when a computer uses what it’s been fed and makes a moral judgment against our survival.

Last of all, I am simply fed up with the division that has overtaken this country. We no longer have political parties. Instead, we have factions. Political parties find little agreement as factions from the right, middle, and left fight each other. Nothing is accomplished in the halls of Congress because the infighting of the parties themselves prevents bills from being passed and sent on. I’m tired of the failure of our elected representatives to look out for the American public.

Go ahead and call me grumpy, dim-witted, and shallow. I don’t much care. I have no idea how much more time I have on this earth, but I’d sure like to spend it getting along with people of all viewpoints. This tendency to only associate with like-minded individuals only leads to more darkness and failure to learn. Step across the line and talk to someone on the other side of things. You might discover that most people have similar opinions with only nuances making those beliefs different.

It’s New Year’s week. Let’s spend time learning to once again tolerate the views of others. Then, go ahead and love those who have different takes than you do. Otherwise, our wonderful country that leads the world in helping others might just fizzle.