Sunday, 8 March 2009

war crimes against the english language

i suppose introductions are in order: i am newly 27, and enjoying my third tour in iraq. this will not be a commentary about the army, but since it is what i do every day, it will impact my thoughts quite a bit.

recently my unit has been dealing with a rash of miscommunication. it all stems from one small portion of our higher-ups not being able to read or write very well. since the funding of the war on terror (now known as the stabilization effort on terror, i believe) has been very high and very steady, much of our contact takes place via email.

allow me to back up for a minute. i serve in the national guard, which has been neglecting standards of every kind since it's inception before the revolutionary war. since no one is held to a standard, we can allow illiterates of all ages to progress through the ranks two or even four ranks past the point of incompetence. the peter principle goes out the window, trading the amount of time someone has spent being dumb in for a higher rank. don't get me wrong, for every 10 leaders, 1 of them does their job, and it is that elite 10% who keeps the national guard moving.

that said, some of the correspondence is downright hysterical. when i asked for clarification on an issue via email, the response was completely unreadable. the crown jewel of this response is actually what prompted me to start a blog. it is so amazing that i will give it it's own paragraph here.

"The reason is we have to implement a training program and this is so simple. I dont beleive no one could not do it."

i hope that you have effectively stifled your urge to vomit on your computer. after many musings about what these two 'sentences' actually mean, i am no closer to figuring it out. if only there were some sort of rosetta stone for military personnel, i think i would be in much better shape.

this gruesome mauling of the english language leads me to believe that there is, in fact, a hell. furthermore, i would not be surprised if the army starts issuing training manuals on deliberate misspeak and grammatical deceit. wouldn't be surprised at all.


  1. this s aewsmoe. yur an awthur!

  2. It's newspeak, Matty. Get ready! "It's a beautiful thing, the destruction of words."