Language

The Fall and Decline of the English Language

How :-), :-(, and emoticons helped lead to Trump

|

Among the many factors adduced to explain the rise of Donald Trump, the most important has been left unnoted: the devolution of the English language.

Evidence of that devolution lies everywhere. On a recent Monday, for instance, the Drudge Report ran this headline: "Suspect preplanned to interrupt Dayton rally…"

You know a suspect is serious when he not only plans an interruption, but preplans it.

"Preplan" is one of those redundancies, like "added bonus" or "general vicinity" (or "annoying newspaper columnist") that defies explanation. But its frequency, like the frequency of those other redundancies, has increased in recent decades. (See for yourself by analyzing word usage in Google Books' Ngram Viewer.)

Redundancies—which occur when people express the same idea more than once using different words—are a sign of lazy thinking, which leads to the repetition of concepts, often using slightly different terminology.

Trump employs many redundancies. During last week's Republican presidential debate, he observed that "millions and millions of people are going out to the polls and they're voting." As opposed to, say, going out to the polls and swimming laps. During that debate Trump also said, "We're going to come up with solutions. We're going to find the answers to things." Solutions and answers? Wow.

And then there was this: "We have a serious, serious problem of hate. There is tremendous hate. There is tremendous hate. Where large portions of a group of people, Islam, large portions want to use very, very harsh means. Let me go a step further. Women are treated horribly. You know that. You do know that. Women are treated horribly, and other things are happening that are very, very bad."

We could go on and on, but space is short and short, and this is not the only data point to consider. Take "as such." It is supposed to mean roughly, "belonging to or having the characteristics of the previously mentioned category." Example: "Cinnamon is a stripper and, as such, meets a lot of politicians." When "as such" is used properly, you should be able to answer the question "as what?" The Salt Lake Tribune used the expression correctly in a recent headline: "Hate crimes are terrorism, and should be seen as such."

Unfortunately, somewhere along the way people started using "as such" as a synonym (Cinna-nym?) for "therefore." Thus when former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) sought bail, federal prosecutors wrote that he "received a fair trial and was duly convicted by a jury of his fellow Virginians. This Court had no cause to undo what has been done. And neither will the Supreme Court. As such, defendant's motion… should be denied." As what?'

Some dictionaries call this improper use of "as such" colloquial, which is a synonym for wrong. Others refer to it as vulgar—a term that comes from the word Vulgarian, referring to a group of nomadic German peoples during the Dark Ages who hated Mexicans and liked to punch protesters at political rallies.

And yet redundancies and the misuse of "as such" are relatively benign symptoms compared to emoticons, which have proliferated in recent years. Emoticons provide a handy way of expressing a sentiment without the tedious labor of finding the words for it, and they have the virtue of brevity. There is a world of difference between an email reading, "David just got fired" and one reading, "David just got fired 🙂 "

But while emoticons add immediacy, they subtract color and nuance. There is also a world of difference between "David just got fired 🙂 " and "David—that smarmy, simpering, walking bottle of warm yellow pus—just got fired. Hallelujah!"

Emoticons are knee-jerks; like many of Trump's supporters, they express reactions rather than thoughts. So it should come as no surprise that a society in which emoticons are a popular mode of communication would see the rise of a candidate whose policy ideas contain all the detail and refinement of a Mr. Yuck poison label.

Language, by contrast, evolved to convey complexity; sloppy language thus indicates sloppy thinking—as when Trump told Anderson Cooper, "Sometimes they'll say Donald Trump wants single payer because there's a group of people—as good as these plans are and by the way your insurance will go way down, you'll have better plans, you'll get your own doctor, which Obama lied."

Well put, sir!

The decline of language is a political issue. Orwell noted this in a famous essay and illustrated it in fiction, while Gibbon noted it in fact. In 1984, the Party expunges words from the dictionary to exert control over the public mind. And in his Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Gibbon observes that the sacking of Rome by Aleric was directly related to the manner in which a complacent Roman citizenry ceased to rely on the locative case and settled for the ablative—"which grammatical indolence the Visigoths used to mock the forces of the Eternal City mercilessly. The execution of this strategem left the Roman forces daunted and demoralized, and the city open to the insinuation of the Barbarian hordes."

This isn't to say that bad grammar kills. No, wait—yes it is. It totally is.

Don't say you haven't been warned.

This column originally appeared at the Richmond Times Dispatch.

NEXT: What happened when Merrick Garland wrote for himself

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Trumpkin sadface

    1. Kitten fire policeman martini.

      1. Just as long as no one goes Trolling around twisting words or writing in the “name” of another to stir up controversy, most language is okay and is acceptable. We like to keep things nice and tidy, and emoticons are okay for that too. New York legislators, as such, are currently preplanning major steps in regard to criminal speech-fraud, because of certain little “ambiguities” that have been hindering the cause of justice in a certain matter: see the draft of their latest bill at:

        nysenate.gov/legislation/bills/2015/s5871

        That a D-felony, folks, 2-7 years in jail for getting back at your ex-partner on Match.com. Compare the documentation of America’s leading criminal “satire” case at:

        https://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpress.com/

        Apparently, some reports have indicated that at least one exception will be made in enforcing the new regulations: Republican politicians will still be allowed to send out their “Nancy Pelosi” emails, because, as such, they are allowed to do these things.

  2. Irregardless, Trump will make America great again.

    1. You misspelled “grate.”

    2. Irregardl- HEY GET A JOB YOU JOKE STEALER

  3. If we think political discourse is ever going to return to Firing Line levels, get ready for disappointing disappointment.

    1. Surely a point between the two is still available on the spectrum? I mean, even England seems to still manage it.

  4. Name recognition seems to be the number one qualifier for a serious presidential run these days. Which is why, when the first lady fields a question about a possible presidential bid at a hipster music festival, it makes national news.

    1. Which is why, when the first lady fields a question about a possible presidential bid at a hipster music festival

      Are you talking about Lena Dunham here?

      1. Lena Dunham is merely the first lady of unselfawareness.

        1. I read an article earlier in which she was whining that she gets treated worse by the left for supporting Hillary than she ever has by the right for anything. Self-awareness has certainly left the building.

          1. Has it been confirmed yet that she is not a false flag operation of the republicans?

          2. Jon Lovitz observed something similar when he dared to criticize Obama. Eight years of ripping on W. and he never got any conservative blowback. He calls Obama an asshole over Obama saying people like Lovitz don’t pay enough taxes, and suddenly he gets death threats and has to have private security.

        2. she’s incognizantly unselfaware

    2. I did say a while back that Michelle Obama might be the only person who could hold the Obama coalition together.

    3. Well, at least we transcended voting on the basis of hair.

  5. People who call things “life hacks” should be shot.

      1. Three thumbs up and a spork.

      2. FaceHack!

    1. The best way to hack life is with a hatchet.

  6. Trump speaks mostly without a script, is my understanding.

    Take nearly any politician off-script, and you’re likely to get garble. Trump is inarticulate on his feet, but its a matter of degree. God knows what would come out of Hillary’s piehole if she was ever in an uncontrolled setting with cameras running.

    1. Trump doesn’t say these things in an uncontrolled setting with cameras running, so that comparison seems inappropriate. He has more restrictions on access than Hillary.

      1. Its incredible, the way he plays the media, no question.

        Have Hillary talk for 90 minutes with no script, and, like I said, there’s no telling what would pop out of her yap. She’s smart to not do that. But saying Trump is uniquely inarticulate is to overlook the papering over of other politician’s lack of verbal skills with speechwriters and their own set of media controls.

        1. I don’t think the point is that he is “uniquely inarticulate.” He speaks like this on purpose; it’s part of his branding.

          1. Scott Adams is inside our heads!

        2. But saying Trump is uniquely inarticulate is to overlook the papering over of other politician’s lack of verbal skills with speechwriters and their own set of media controls.

          One of the memorable sections of “Parliament of Whores” concerned O’Rourke watching Congresscritters giving speeches on the floor with the oratorical grace of an 8th grader running for student body president, then coming back later to “revise and clarify their remarks” for the Congressional Record. While most politicians are glib (at least the few I’ve met are) they don’t do well extemporaneously for more than a few minutes at a time. I agree with RC, that Trump doesn’t seem out of line in this; he just hasn’t for whatever reason decided to install some filters between his mouth and reporters’ mikes.

      2. What do his access restrictions have to do with him sounding like a cab driver on the podium?

        1. That it’s not for lack of planning.

      3. I don’t like clicking on Buzzfeed links, but hovering over the link, I note the title “How Donald Trump Bent Television to his Will.”

        Is that really true, or does the media simply love a trump story like they love a trainwreck? Has Trump “bent Reason magazine to his will?

        Trump is a showman, a carnival barker… a colorful snake oil salesman. I guess what I’m thinking is, if Trump didn’t exist, the media would have to invent him.

        1. I don’t like clicking on Buzzfeed links

          Then you’re missing some of the best investigative journalism currently conducted.

          1. gods, above, she’s had a stroke.

            1. Nah, she’s just/still The Worst.

    2. It is my understanding that speaking without thought doesn’t require a script.

    3. she just hackles and laughs at questions that fall off her script. which is worse than word play.

    4. that is so real of him! like really, really real.

    5. I think Hillary would sputter and self destruct. That scenario would not compute.

  7. Please, tell me more about the written word spawned Trump.

    I noticed you didn’t use very many ‘thee’ or ‘thou’, this indicates to me that you don’t take language seriously enough. We all know the written word doesn’t evolve or change. Ever.

    1. LAGWIJ CHANJIZ!

    2. Sesame Street spawned Trump. Big yellow parrots that indoctrinated our kiddums in all the perverted words that start with the letter ‘A’. If that ain’t communism, then what else can explain why Muslims are crawling over walls to get into this country illegally? To sell bad deals on Chinese stuff? It’s gotta stop.

  8. I find it comical that Reason is as obsessed with Trump as the leftist media.

    Fall and Decline of the English language?

    Wouldn’t it be more proper to write ‘Decline and Fall’ as falls typically come after declines?

    Anyway, the English language has been all slanged up and abused since the beginning and has underwent substantial changes. Ever read Charles Dickens? If English isn’t your first language, you’d have a really hard time even recognizing it as English. If you could time travel back to the 1770s, you would have a hard time even communicating with the speakers of that day outside of the basics. They wouldn’t recognize hardly any, if any of your colloquialisms.

    1. Does the author recall George W. Bush I wonder? I’m pretty sure that after George no one gives a shit.

      1. Maybe the author is in one of them Koreas looking for the axis of evil.

    2. Has underwent? Egads, my good man.

      1. Would you prefer undergone? I am an equal opportunity thrasher of de Ingles.

        1. Also, I lived in the midwest for more than a decade. Their grammatical errors eventually get to you. There, even people with advanced degrees talk like that. I least At never took to saying ‘warsh’ instead of wash.

          1. I least At never

            Also, no edit feature.

          2. I had several generations of “warsh” in my family until my generation broke the curse. Sure, it’s not storming Omaha Beach, but each generation rises to meet the challenges it faces.

            1. ‘Warshrag’ is one of my favorite words.

              1. Take this here warshrag down to the creek and warsh my truck, youngun.

                1. Take this here warshrag down to the creek and warsh my truck, youngun.

                  Ya warsh your close in the crick

                2. Worse:

                  The car needs warshed

            2. Actual conversation between my dad andid my grandmother from NC:

              Grandma- “Let’s get some peetzer for lunch.”
              Dad- “Mom… spell ‘peetzer.'”
              Grandma- “P-I-Z-Z-A…Peetzer.”

              Oh how I miss her.

              1. Sad fave

                1. Or face

          3. I never knew Georgia was in the midwest. The things I learn at reason…

            1. It’s spread into the Ohios

    3. Maybe you meant Shakespeare? Dickens is pretty much modern English. Sure there are a few colloquialisms but you don’t need footnotes the great majority of it.

      1. Are you kidding me? You’ve read Great Expectations? It’s not even close to how people speak today.

        1. Practically beowulf.

        2. “My father’s family name being Pirrip, and my Christian name Philip, my infant tongue could make of both names nothing longer or more explicit than Pip. So, I called myself Pip, and came to be called Pip.”

          I just can’t even!

    4. I think getting it backwards was the point. but it’s okay, he’s doing it ironically.

  9. Thank you Barton, for reminding us that people are made to serve the language and not the other way around. People who violate the iron laws of grammar must be punished without mercy.

    1. Asked on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” who he talks with “consistently” about foreign affairs, Mr. Trumpresponded, “I’m speaking with myself, number one, because I have a very good brain and I’ve said a lot of things,” Politico reported.

      That is not a simple violation of obscure grammar rules, it’s verbal proof of an undeveloped intellect from an egomaniac who refuses to be embarrassed by it.

      1. I’m not disputing that Trump’s use of language betrays a lack of content both in his ideas and his brain, but Hinkle went on to argue that colloquialisms and emojis are content-free harbingers of the linguistic apocalypse.

        1. STOP PICKING ON, wait, what?

        2. it’s basically just someone complaining about getting old

    2. You know who else was extremely particular about language…

  10. U FGZ CLL TRMP NZI FESHIST BUTT U GRMR NZI NOW WOW JST LUV AMREICA

  11. Last I heard Trump was a Master Wizard with the English language.

    1. He is a defiler.

  12. Redundancies?which occur when people express the same idea more than once using different words?are a sign of lazy thinking, which leads to the repetition of concepts, often using slightly different terminology.

    Why is this a bad thing? In my own writing, I believe it is an important feature to be able to communicate to people on multiple levels. One group of people may not understand the higher-level terminology, so the reputation serves to both help them get the gist of what you are saying, and to educate them in the more correct terminology.

    I think it’s actually kind of a nice way of communicating that avoids talking down to people.

    1. It doesn’t avoid talking down to the people who would have understood without redundancy.

      1. But those people should be smart enough to know that it wasn’t directed at them.

        1. They do. That’s why they’re less likely to support Trump.

        2. Then they’re not the target audience anyway.

    2. repetition … my brain is in autocorrect mode today.

      1. Well then you don’t need an edit feature, do you?

      2. That’s what Hell is all about…….repetition.

    3. So the smart people you talk to have to listen to redundancy for the sake of the room temp IQs?

      1. Er, read your writing, whatever

        /ties off arm, flicks vein, injects caffeine

      2. Why not? If the room contains both smart and not-smart (or less well educated) people, why shouldn’t the smart people put up with some redundancy for the sake of collective understanding?

        Not only is it morally sound for the smart people to make a couple trivial sacrifices to facilitate the understanding of the less educated, it’s also strategically a good idea if the smart people want the stupid people to not vote for morons like Trump.

        I WANT to communicate libertarian ideas to poor and uneducated people, because having those ideas implemented in policy depends upon them understanding and agreeing with them.

        1. Hadn’t even thought about ‘general vicinity’ until I read this.

          1. It’s in the specific vicinity of phrases we just tend to gloss over.

        2. No Child Left Behind, even the retards, even when they slow the rest of the team down so much they all get eaten by wolves. Yay!

          1. The retards in question control who gets elected. If you don’t want to get slowed down, it’s probably a good idea to get them up to speed. Even if it means speaking in small words and repeating yourself in a way that non-retards find boring.

            1. a whole fifty percent of people are dumber than average.

              1. Actually it’s 50 percent minus one, provided there is an odd number of people.

              2. I think you mean “dumber than median”.

        3. The main problem in successfully advocating a libertarian idea is not confined to the difficulty in communicating with dimwitted or uneducated people. In fact, the people one is most likely to engage in such a discussion are more likely to be fairly intelligent and educated. The main barrier in getting a libertarian idea across was erected at great expense over a long period of indoctrination in government-run schools.

          1. The relatively uneducated are less likely to have paid attention in their government indoctrination camps, so they might be more receptive. Uneducated =/= stupid.

          2. The main barrier in getting a libertarian idea across was erected at great expense over a long period of indoctrination in government-run schools.

            Or it could be that libertarian ideas just aren’t very popular, regardless of intelligence or education.

            Conservatives ran into this problem and compensated for it by embracing anti-intellectualism to one extent or another. Libertarians haven’t embraced anti-intellectualism because they still want acceptance on that level. Being just a little too clever for everybody else is an important part of the self identity of the type of people who tend to lean libertarian, and it’s a comforting self-delusion. Sure, we’re outsiders, but it’s only because we’re so goddamn smart and our ideas so esoteric that the unwashed masses simply can’t comprehend what to us seems obvious. Ironically, the intellectual and academic community is thinking and saying the same things about us. So what then? Well, obviously it’s a conspiracy! These are people with at least some demonstrated level of intelligence that, while certainly beneath our own, should be more than sufficient to understanding our ideas. Instead they reject them. It can only be that they are brainwashed by an ancient institutional cabal. Yes, that’s it. No one meeting the minimum intelligence threshold could possibly be exposed to our ideas and reject them on the merits.

            1. Or it could be that libertarian ideas just aren’t very popular

              People embrace libertarian ideas unless they stand to lose something. All those goodies being given to the other guy are fine to cut, but damn if you cut my free stuff.

              Libertarianism takes self discipline, which is in short supply.

        4. Could you get just a tiny bit further up your own asshole, love? Trust me when I say, your writing, and the more-often-than-not unfactual and incoherent ideas it expresses, does not require any tailoring for the benefit of that literal handful of people even less intellectually gifted than yourself.

      3. If mild levels of redundancy utilized in the name of getting everyone up to speed irritate you so much that you can’t focus on the content of the message, you’re probably not as smart as you like to think you are.

    4. Redundancies?which occur when people express the same idea more than once using different words?are a sign of lazy thinking,

      Bullshit.

      (1) Being able to express the same idea using different terms is actually hard to do. Just repeating yourself using the same words is what is lazy.

      (2) Redundancy is critical to getting good message retention. You generally have to repeat something multiple times to be sure it has been heard and has a chance of being retained.

      1. That’s why you only ever see one article about why you should hate Trump.

        1. No, we shall see many each day. Each article explaining why Trump is responsible for every bad thing imaginable, and some unimaginable (Just imagine!). This will culminate in Reason eventually endorsing Hillary. Because of progtard cocktail parties and stuff.

      2. Exactly. You say things multiple times in different words, because different people will understand different words and phrases. Especially if you are speaking to a large audience that has lots of people from different backgrounds. You repeat the concept several times in case they didn’t get it the first time.

      3. Correct a good example is commercials. the more you can repeat the brand name the more recall people will have of it latter.

      4. Redundancy is critical to getting good message retention. You generally have to repeat something multiple times to be sure it has been heard and has a chance of being retained.

        Tell ’em what you’re gonna tell ’em, then tell them, and wrap up with telling ’em what you told ’em.

        1. And first, scroll down to see if someone’s already come up with what you were going to say.

          That OMWC and I had the same thought come to mind is, well, troubling.

    5. I read a book on the English language about a decade or so ago. One of the assertions that stuck with me was the claim that Shakespeare did precisely this. He’d make his point in poetic, flowery language for the nerds, then reiterate the point in bald layman’s terms as a way of pandering to the cheap seats. Supposedly, it’s one of the explanations for his enduring, universal appeal.

      1. Like in Star Trek, where a complex technical idea would be explained in detail, and then another character would restate the idea as a simple metaphor.

        I think we all see where the Bard got some of his ideas……..

  13. “Emoticons are knee-jerks; like many of Trump’s supporters…”

    You should have stopped right there. Whenever the words “Trump supporters” and “jerks” are used in a sentence it is redundant.

  14. You wanna see language butchery, do ya? Well, behold!

    I was with my friend and I was like, hey, you think Bernie is Bae? And she was like yeah Bernie is like Bae. And I was like wow, me too, Bernie is like so bae!

    1. OMG IKR!

      1. I hate the fact that I understand this

        1. I know several 40-year-old women who talk this way because they think it’s cute and keeps them in touch with pop culture. It makes me turn green, explode through my shirt, start throwing cars around, etc.

    2. But that’s totes cool, cuz Trump is not bae like Bernie!

    3. Bernie is like Bea Arthur? Actually they are kind of similar. Except Bernie isn’t dead…….’frowny face’.

  15. Trump has turned Reason to language purists? Strange days indeed.

  16. Good lord… people repeat words and phrase in speech for emphasis and the result is TRUMP. I thought last week’s Trump oeuvre was weak sauce but this is… like wow I just can’t even!

    1. Trump’s not bae, bro.

      /Reason staff

    2. Take it as a sign that they are beginning to scrape the bottom of the grievance mongering barrel. Picture the Reason staff at a table in a greasy spoon diner, patiently waiting for a glass of spilt milk to cry over.

      1. They probably have meetings to brainstorm a list of what to blame Trump for next.

  17. First rule of public speaking: tell ’em what you’re going to tell ’em, tell ’em, then tell ’em what you just told ’em.

    1. Bingo. And if you can repackage it each time, you are a good speaker, not a bad speaker.

      1. Of course this doesn’t excuse word salad like this: “Sometimes they’ll say Donald Trump wants single payer because there’s a group of people?as good as these plans are and by the way your insurance will go way down, you’ll have better plans, you’ll get your own doctor, which Obama lied.”

      2. Of course this doesn’t excuse word salad like this: “Sometimes they’ll say Donald Trump wants single payer because there’s a group of people?as good as these plans are and by the way your insurance will go way down, you’ll have better plans, you’ll get your own doctor, which Obama lied.”

    2. I am truly distressed to find that OMWC and I have this in common.

      Also, given the average intelligence of the average voter – even this may not be enough repetition.

  18. WHYCOM BE U UNT TALK NGLS LIK A FAG N SHIT VAT TURMP

    1. Your shit’s all tarded and you talk like a fag.

      1. SUCH FAGGOTRY!

  19. “general vicinity”

    I though it was to differentiate from ‘immediate viciinty’.

    1. Oh. Probably so. I thought it was to differentiate from “Colonel Vicinity”. That bastard.

  20. Are we not men?

    1. We are Devo!

      1. devo seems awfully appropriate in a Trump thread

  21. Trump is the human version of the chicken paying Tic Tac Toe.

  22. Among the many factors adduced to explain the rise of Donald Trump, the most important has been left unnoted: the devolution of the English language.

    I am flabbergasted at the sight of people employing mental gymnastics in their effort to explain something as simple as Trump’s meteoric rise to become the GOP nominee for president.

    The reason for his sudden success is this: he blamed everything on immigrants and China. That’s it. You get the approval from the xenophobic and economically-illiterate boobs who normally do not bother themselves with politics except to yell at the TV. He is directly speaking to THAT crowd. Just like Bernie speaks directly to the other crowd of boobs who think they can blame everything on rich greedy people.

    So please stop looking for these “reasons” for their popularity because you’re engaging in obfuscation and not enlightenment.

    1. It’s painful to recognize the reality that the vast majority of Americans are illiterate boobs.

      1. Especially when it means that they will never be libertarians.

        1. Yeah, it’s too bad that libertarianism will never expand outside the halls of academia and the intelligentsia where it enjoys such an elevated and respected position.

      2. But its the literate who create most of the problems

  23. I KNOW RIGHT LOL J/K

  24. “Redundancies?which occur when people express the same idea more than once using different words?are a sign of lazy thinking,” This is not laziness in many instances ideas are repeated with different words is so the idea may sink in and also different people will respond differently to different terminology. I myself when discussing projects with clients we all often repeat in order to make sure that everyone understands all the issues. so no its not laziness or a lack of education or anything you want to claim. but it did give you another reason to attack Trump, didn’t it, even though all politicians throughout history have done this.

  25. Trump has to repeat himself. He’s not exactly talking to a crowd of rocket surgeons. The more disturbing idea is that Trump is “saying what his fans already think.” Which means they are going to rallies to hear their own biases and prejudices repeated back to them in slightly different ways using slightly different words. I can’t imagine anything more boring.

    1. …they are going to rallies to hear their own biases and prejudices repeated back to them in slightly different ways using slightly different words. I can’t imagine anything more boring.

      He said in reply to the 4th Reason Trump article in one day…

      But wait! There’s more! The drug war is bad! Cops are unaccountable! Colleges suppress free speech!

  26. Did the writer of this article only throw in Trump’s name so more people will read it?

    Emoticons are knee-jerks; like many of Trump’s [[insert any politician’s name here]] supporters, they express reactions rather than thoughts.

    See, that could apply to anyone. I’m guessing the Reason staff has a Trump quota they have to meet every day. Gotta keep those page views up!

    1. I think Nick gives them a cookie when they write a Trump bashing article.

  27. There is, in fact, a non-redundant use of the term “pre-plan”. Pre-planning is a characteristic of the high-performing manufacturing organizations in their maintenance and reliability functions. A smart reliability and maintenance manager understands that, despite good preventive maintenance, various types of equipment will malfunction from time to time. For critical equipment items, he pre-plans the response dependent upon various criteria. One benefit of the pre-plan is that resource, activity, and schedule requirements are known in advance. The pre-plan is ready-to-go for the eventuality of a malfunction, at which time the specific plan for remediation can be readily formulated for the specific equipment item and relevant criteria.

    That said, about 99% of what is called a “pre-plan” is just a plan, and usually one that is not very good.

    1. That’s just business jargon, which is also terrible.

  28. “And in his Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Gibbon observes that the sacking of Rome by Aleric was directly related to the manner in which a complacent Roman citizenry ceased to rely on the locative case and settled for the ablative?”which grammatical indolence the Visigoths used to mock the forces of the Eternal City mercilessly. The execution of this strategem left the Roman forces daunted and demoralized, and the city open to the insinuation of the Barbarian hordes.””

    So this is like, linguist porn??

  29. Hinkle is being pedantic and overly concerned with formal constructions and, as such, should be ignored and no one should pay any attention to him. 🙂

  30. Title correction: “Nikki Porn”

  31. Why the harsh on redundancy?

    Think back to when you first learned to make persuassive essays, probably in elementary school. If your school was anything like mine, they taught you the “five paragraph essay” method.

    Opening paragraph, you state your position, you give three brief statements of support. For each of the next three paragraphs you take one of those brief statements of support, you repeat it, and you give three pieces of supporting evidence. Final paragraph, you restate your position, restate the high level pieces of support.

    There’s a lot of repetition there. Your overall point is stated twice, and each of the three supporting statements is repeated three times.

    But that’s because repetition is how people remember. Sure, some people can hear something a single time and have it immediately revolutionize their way of thinking. Most people need to hear it multiple times for it to sink it. It’s just how humans are wired.

    Conclusion? This entire article is just more “You dagnabit kids get off my lawn”.

  32. as I redundantly look back over the whole article I think the whole article was a little redundant

  33. This would have been a more convincing argument if it came from a website with an EDIT button!

  34. ou know a suspect is serious when he not only plans an interruption, but preplans it.

    George Carlin was way ahead of you.

    Presuck my genital situation!

  35. Everything bad in the universe is Donald Trump’s fault.

    He is Da Debil!

  36. Mr. Donald J. Trump uses language in a way that is most vulgar. How dare he! We must criticize, nay censor, anyone who doesn’t speak like a Harvard law professor reading prepared remarks off of a teleprompter.

    Sincerely,

    The Elite.

  37. My classmate’s mother-in-law makes $56 hourly on the computer . R She has been out of work for 5 months but last month her check was $3200 just working on the computer for a few hours. view website ,..

    === W?W?W.A?l?p?h?a?-C?a?r?e?e?r?s.C??O??M

  38. “…and other things are happening that are very, very bad.”

    I had a field day snarking at this one when it happened. I mean, it could be feasibly appended to the end of almost any sentence about politics.

  39. my buddy’s step-mother makes $89 /hr on the laptop . She has been fired for seven months but last month her income was $19439 just working on the laptop for a few hours. you could check here

    ? ? ? ? http://www.ReportMax90.com

  40. This logic would work except the people supporting Trump are older and don’t use emoticons.

  41. I’ve made $76,000 so far this year working online and I’m a full time student.I’m using an online business opportunity I heard about and I’ve made such great money.It’s really user friendly and I’m just so happy that I found out about it.

    Open This LinkFor More InFormation..

    ??????? http://www.selfcash10.com

  42. Language is a symptom.

    Stupidity is the problem.

    The average voter doesn’t know who we fought in the Revolutionary War, or in what century the war occurred. They cannot name 3 countries that participated in WWII, or name any of the past 3 vice-presidents. If you ask the average person (go ahead, try this – really – try it) how many millions are in a billon, they will get it wrong. Common answers are “10” and “100”. When you ask, “Well, then what is 100 million?” the look of puzzlement is its own reward.

    Okay, well, math and history are too hard, right? How about this: Name 3 people from the two major parties who are running for president. To the nearest $2 trillion, how big is the national debt? WHAT is the national debt? What is YOUR SHARE of the national debt?

    The list of answers ALL should know the answer to (but do not) is endless.

    But they all know who Snooki is. Or what rap song is hot.

    America – a Country of morons. And you’re worried about their language skills?

  43. I’ve made $76,000 so far this year working online and I’m a full time student.I’m using an online business opportunity I heard about and I’ve made such great money.It’s really user friendly and I’m just so happy that I found out about it.

    Open This LinkFor More InFormation..

    ??????? http://www.selfcash10.com

  44. I’m surprised to see no mention of ‘impact’ in Hinkle’s article or this comments section. Its appearance as a synonym for ‘affect’ and ‘effect’ (not to mention ‘change’, ‘consequence’, ‘disturb’, ‘influence’, ‘repercussion’, ‘result’) is ubiquitous, and an excellent example of vocabulary erosion.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.