Not to take anything away from the first flight of anything on the surface of Mars by humankind, but shouldn’t they be calling this little rotorcraft that just lifted off of the Martian surface a “drone” rather than a “helicopter?” Doesn’t calling it a helicopter imply there’s a pilot on board? We’ve already raised at least two generations of Americans who have no idea that there’s a distinct difference between a cap and a hat, and now we are telling them that a drone is a helicopter?
I was taken aback the other day while watching the royal funeral, when one of the commentators on an alleged network spoke about the upcoming “Internment of Prince Philip.” Won’t the Queen be surprised?
Literacy is directly related to our ability to understand one another, which, in turn, appears to be critical to any of us being able to reach agreement with regard to what is actually going on, which will be necessary to move forward and away from our confused path toward mututal self-destruction. But then I’m sure there’s something I probably don’t understand.
Consider the difference between “homing in” and “honing in” on something. It’s an easy mistake to make so it’s easily forgiven. I suppose. What’s unforgivable is our cultural tendency to accept verbal and historical mistakes so often that incorrect usage and “alternate facts” become the acceptable form while literacy and historical fact are increasingly viewed as elitist or dismissive to all those snowflakes out there demanding that nothing be done or said by anyone to affront their delicate sensibilities.
A few days ago I was watching a morning newscast out of Los Angeles, when, during a discussion about swimming, the weatherman (Is it still okay to say that? Or is “weatherman” no longer PC?) raised the question of whether the term “dog paddle” is politically incorrect because it might be an affront to dogs? It was, of course, a joke, but at the same time, the guy was making a legitimate point.
Instead of correcting mistakes and promoting debate to resolve differences, we appear to be fearfully stumbling ahead with increased illiteracy, covering what’s left of our culture with a spreading blanket of confusion consisting of misinformation and disinformation sprinkled with generous portions of stupidity and ignorance. God help anyone who suggests that societal standards might be necessary for the common good.
I know this is all a bit complex. I’ll let you know if I figure it out. I can feel myself “honing in” on it right now. And I’ll try and get there without upsetting anyone’s delicate sensibilities. Above all else, I’ll make an effort not to be dismissive. Even if it’s called for.