Thursday, October 06, 2005

If liberals understood grammar . . .

Posted by Craig Westover | 8:44 AM |  

Excuse me if I follow the conservative line that words, whether they appear in the U.S. Constitution or an institutional editorial in today’s Pioneer Press, actually mean something. Today’s lesson is adverbs -- a part of speech that modifies or describes a verb, or for those that endured a less-than-excellent middle school education, an action word. Perhaps an example will help. Take this sentence from today’s Pioneer Press --

An Xcel Energy spokesman says that many members of the World War II generation stubbornly pay their heating and electricity bills first, slashing from food and other critical budgets to do so.
The adverb in that sentence is “stubbornly,” which modifies the verb “pay.” In other words, older people that grew up in an era when paying one’s debit was still honorable don’t just “pay” their heating and electrical bills; they “stubbornly” pay them.

Such dedication isn’t necessary.

The editorial, “Here comes winter,” laments that “unfortunately, too many folks do not avail themselves of the many programs that already exist to help them through a tough winter.” No, instead, these people “stubbornly” pay their bills. If they weren’t so “stubborn,” and looked for ways around their obligations, they would be so much better off. That is "unfortunate."

Thank God that all people are not so "stubborn" that they insist on paying their own way or many of these government programs wouldn’t exist. Many of the government workers that staff those programs wouldn’t have jobs. It would be so much more difficult to recruit people to participate in these programs, more difficult to inculcate the idea of a beneficent big government -- if all people were as "stubborn" as the "greatest generation."

People might even break the chains of government domestication and look to help themselves and each other rather than standing waist deep in flood waters waiting for a bus.

Liberals, however, will subbornly refuse to let that happen.