I don't like spam with my eggs.
I know people are going to ask, this morning (in a gloating tone, in an unsafe environment, before I've had my third cup of coffee): "So, what do you think of Sarah Palin now?"
I think she has about as much depth as a kiddie pool. But major kudos to Sarah Palin's debate coaches; they almost pulled it off. I would hire them in a heartbeat to tutor my kids. While many of Palin's answers don't really hold up to close scrutiny, and even my twenty-year-old daughter thinks that kind of last-minute cramming is "cheating" and utterly worthless in the long run, when it comes to things like, oh, dealing with foreign nations you can't see from your back yard, Palin held her own against Joe Biden last night.
My saying that she "held her own" isn't saying much; by last night's debate, the ability to form one coherent sentence that parsed to something like "subject verb" would have been impressive all by itself. And my TV is just damned lucky I like it; my daughter had to physically restrain me from throwing things at it every time Palin said "noo-kyu-lahr." For the love of God, is this the secret Republican rallying cry? "Noo-kyu-lahr"? My son has had two science teachers who pronounce it the same way, and it drives me absolutely batty. All together now:
Noo-klee-ur. Comes from noo-kyu--oh, @#$% they've almost got me doing it now. We are Borg...resistance is...
Nuclear. Noo-klee-ur. Nucleus. Noo-klee-us. (Not "Nukes 'R' Us.") Whew. Better now.
Am I overreacting? Language matters. Clear communication matters. While the Constitution might have more relevance to your average hacker if the Preamble went something like this:
wE 7eH pe0plE 0F 7eh un17Ed 5747e2, 1n 0rder 70 F0RM 4 M0RE PErfec7 Un10N, E574bL15h jU571cE, 1N5uRe d0ME571C 7R4NKW1l17y, PR0V1DE F0r 7eH C0mM0n dEFENCe, pR0m07e 7eH GeNER4L WeLF4rE, 4nD 5ecURe 7eh ble551Ng2 0F l1Ber7y 70 0uR5Elve2 4ND 0Ur p057eR17Y, D0 0Rd41N 4ND E574bL15H 7H12 c0N5717U710n f0r 7eh Un17ed 5747e2 0f 4mer1C4.
The rest of us would never have bothered to read it, now, would we? Think the young voters would prefer it like this?
We d ppl of d United st8z, n ordA 2 4m a mor perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide 4t comN defence, promote d general Welfare, n secure d Blessings of Liberty 2 ourselves n r Posterity, do ordain n establish dis Constitution 4t United st8z of USA.
And this one's for you, Joe Six-Pack:
We th' Varmints of th' United States, in Order t'fo'm a mo'e puffick Union, establish Jestice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide fo' th' common defence, promote th' juneral We'fare, an' secure th' Blessin's of Liberty t'ourselves an' our Posterity, does o'dain an' establish this hyar Consteetooshun fo' th' United States of South Car'lina.
Anyone else notice how, instead of being more inclusive and something we can all relate to, this kind of babble just alienates - even angers - huge segments of a very large population? I propose we go back to reasonably standard English, now (allowing for minor differences in spelling due to time and geography):
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
More importantly, I propose that we insist our children study and learn reasonably standard English, so that they are able to effectively communicate with one another (and us - isn't it remarkable how standard linguistic conventions are able to bridge the gender gap?) and not make fools of themselves in public. Who knows, one day, one of them might even run for President or Vice President of the United States of America. Or Congress. Or the Supreme Court. They might actually have to uphold that Constitution for this more perfect onion--er, Union.
Need. More. Coffee. Now. I think I'll indulge in just one more cup before braving the three-mile commute...