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What's wrong with this sentence?

  1. May 6, 2012 #1

    Danger

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    I was watching "Numbers" last hour on KHQ. The show is stupid, but I watch it because I like the lead characters and the actors who portray them. I find it entertaining. That is beside the point.
    A commercial aired during it in which a teacher was given some award upon the recommendation of a student. Again, I have no problem with that; good ones should be recognized. What offended my sensibilities was that the teacher responded with a similar compliment returned to the child. I can't quote the beginning exactly, but it was in principle that the child displayed the same admirable qualities that he had attributed to the teacher. What I can quote, and is the basis for this thread, is "He helps each other out."
    Am I to understand that this guy is employed by a Yank educational institution? Here in Canada, and probably most of the world, even the janitors in a school have a better understanding of the local language than was displayed in that announcement. I can understand it if he had said it in private, over a couple of beers, but on TV...?
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2012
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  3. May 6, 2012 #2

    phinds

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    Americans in general are abysmally ignorant of grammar, and teachers are no exception. I've heard things said by English teachers that I think would be terrible even if said by someone not an English teacher. My own wife is a teacher (although not an English teacher) with a PhD (although not in English) and she curls my hair sometimes with her terrible grammar and she is MUCH better than the average American.

    My hobby is woodworking and I'm very active on a couple of woodworking forums on the Internet, and the grammar on both is so bad it can hardly be believed.
     
  4. May 6, 2012 #3
    It sounds like she started the sentence out with one thought and finished with another. It happens to us all from time to time.
     
  5. May 6, 2012 #4
    linguistic competence is not linguistic performance
     
  6. May 6, 2012 #5

    Danger

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    Wow. I'm used to it in everyday life, and in various media, but it just astounded me that someone purporting to be an educator would even be allowed to be so ignorant in public.
    I must admit that even on our TV news, there are a lot of stupid things said. It's almost always the same mistake, though. I can't tell you how many times a reporter, or even anchor, has said "There's three or four suspects..." or whatever there might be multiples of. It's no wonder that I'm an alcoholic. I have nothing to do all day but watch TV. Beer mitigates the stupidity that I see to some extent. The only saving factor is "The Daily Show".

    Okay, that was a lie. There are also "The Colbert Report", Daily Planet, Mythbusters, Cash Cab, Jeapardy...
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2012
  7. May 6, 2012 #6
    Wow, thanks to your concerned post, I have got it so quickly to also realize that I was in the same situation with the company's local general director once he called my act "a kid's behavior". He is 5 years older than me and from what we have been discussing, I come to a conclusion that he is of pretty low common sense [I mean his problem solving skills are not professional at all] although he claims to have been working in Japan for over 5 years and joined pretty many companies. I believe he was stressful because of his family affairs and his being in a serious competence with one of our company's project managers over technical skills.
    I certainly "shot" back once being called so, but I did that only in private rooms, I receive a complete education from a known country anyway (although my school is not really good), and I grew up eating a good food of thoughts from my professor.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2012
  8. May 6, 2012 #7
    We don't have those problems where I come from (at least on TV and with teachers, for the most part). It does seem to be a growing trend that a poor command over the english language (and poor grasp of basic arithmetic) is being treated as a badge of honour though, so I guess the problem is going to get worse before it gets better..
     
  9. May 6, 2012 #8

    Danger

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    That's certainly not the way it came across on screen, and it was a "he".

    True, but this was from a supposed educator. As I stated, adherence to standards is not necessary in day-to-day life, but even news anchors don't purport to be educators as opposed to informers. There really is no excuse for that sort of laxity in that situation.

    :rofl: :rofl:

    Unfortunately, I know more than a few people who would say that and not mean it as a joke.
     
  10. May 6, 2012 #9
    Thank you, I edited my post to add in a "not" for real.
     
  11. May 7, 2012 #10

    Danger

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    No worries, mate. I overlooked that in the same spirit in which everyone else overlooked the multiple typos that I made, and subsequently edited, in my original post. That is just something that happens when one is doing things at "cyberspeed". I paid an extra $500 for my typewriter to get a correction mechanism, back when I had to sell my car in order to buy a typewriter. It was just so much easier than having to use a "sandpaper" ink eraser and then try to get the thing to line up properly for a do-over. A word processor is far better, but I don't consider this to be one because one has a tendency to post if the point is made. The "preview post" function is great, but I don't use it unless doing responses to multiple quotes.
     
  12. May 7, 2012 #11
    How about this?

     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  13. May 7, 2012 #12

    phinds

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    Yep, that's what I'm talking about. He was particularly inept, but not that much below average.

    By some accounts, his linguistic ineptitude was a PLUS with his base because it made him so clearly appear to be one of them.
     
  14. May 7, 2012 #13
    I agree. He is one of them and them is one of him.
     
  15. May 11, 2012 #14
    Sorry, but without a link to the commerical, I has to be skeptical of your assertion.

    Only reason for skepticism is because I googled the term "he helps each," "he helps each other" and even "he helps eachother," and nobody else on the face of the internet seems to have heard this grammatical error.
     
  16. May 11, 2012 #15

    Evo

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    Meaning it's incorrect. If it was correct, you would have found examples. It would be correct to say 'he helps others".
     
  17. May 11, 2012 #16

    Pengwuino

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    Was this a scripted commercial or just some preview of a news segment where this story was to be shown? If it's a scripted commercial, that's pretty hilarious. If it was a recording of a real life, spontaneous (or well, non-scripted) event, I don't see what the big deal is. Some people poop their pants when someone puts a TV camera in front of them, so I don't get why anyone would fault the person for that mistake. Like Jimmy said, sometimes people start their sentences based off of one thought, get screwed up, and end with another.
     
  18. May 11, 2012 #17
    The meaning I was going for was that if it were as Danger described - the commercial having such an ironic grammatical error - then surely (or just perhaps) someone else in the world would have mentioned it on the internet.

    Maybe I should rephrase to:

    Perhaps I has to be skeptical.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2012
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