You can speak better English and more letters to the editors

You can speak better English and more letters to the editors

September 9th, 2018 in Opinion Letters

You can speak better English

Misuse and confusion abound with the choices of personal pronouns. The problems know no social or economic limitations, and misuse is rampant everywhere.

"Me and her went to a party ..." Wrong. She and I went to the party.

Here are easy, sequential rules to decide the correct pronouns every time:

1. Always mention the others first, and then include yourself when you are part of a group you want to discuss. It is more polite and better usage, and it sets you up very naturally for rules 2 and 3.

2. Before you speak it, mentally drop yourself from the sentence, and then select the natural pronoun for the other: Her ... went to the party?" Obviously wrong. She went. It's an easy choice.

3. Mentally drop the other from the sentence, and then select the natural pronoun for yourself: "... Me went to the party?" Obviously wrong. Instead, I went.

Now combine the pronoun selections for "She and I went to a party." These easy rules will also work with most other pronoun selections you make.

Congratulations. You may now speak and write confidently, and sound as if you paid attention to English in school.

W. Allen Miller, Hixson

***

Parents, speak up for your students

What happens to the quality of education for all students when educators are directed to teach to the lowest-common-denominator student?

What would happen to the quality of education for all students if teachers were allowed to teach to the brightest student in class? There are studies which support this very successful approach.

While we, as taxpayers, have great compassion for the special-needs student, must we diminish the quality of education for all students to serve our compassion? Is it the right thing to do for all students?

The amount of taxpayer dollars poured into each special-needs student is appallingly high compared to the taxpayer dollars going to support the education of the brightest students ... a very politically incorrect position to shine the light on, but true.

It's time for the majority of taxpayers/parents to speak up and take the politically incorrect position.

As a mother, I have great compassion for special-needs children and their family. As a taxpayer, I believe it's time to restore balance to the disproportionate use of taxpayer dollars at the special-needs end of the scale.

Donna Budnick, Winchester, Tenn.

***

But same senators bow before Trump?

Republican senators, once again, astonish with their hypocrisy.

Surely, John McCain deserves praise for his courage, honesty and sense of honor. Equally surely, with a very few exceptions, the Republicans who are now heaping fulsome praise on McCain lack even a modicum of his courage, honesty, and sense of honor. If they had any of those qualities, they would not genuflect before this president.

Might they yet be shamed into courage?

Frank W. Shelton

***

McCain deserves honors accorded

John McCain was a true American hero and person of character. We both served in Vietnam, but he survived a harsher setting as a POW in the Hanoi Hilton.

Following the Vietnam War, I met several veterans who were with him in Hanoi. From them, and from meeting him personally, I know he was a great person. I also had the honor to introduce him twice where he asked me, "Bill, have you been back to Vietnam?" I answered "no." His response was "Bill, the Vietnam people love Americans. If I can forgive and forget, you can too."

Earlier this year, I finally went back to Vietnam. He was right. The Vietnam people do love Americans. Thanks to the resolve and sacrifices of people like McCain and other veterans, the domino theory stopped.

I share this story to show his "bigger-than-self" personality and willingness to help another veteran forgive and forget. For this, I will never forget John McCain. He deserves to be honored and respected as a great American statesman who strove to place his country and others above himself and politics — something we all should follow.

Maj. Gen. William B. Raines Jr., U.S. Army (Ret.)

***

Police, help end bad driving, littering

A recent letter finds that Tennessee drivers are the second worst in the country. I must admit I was wrong; I have been saying they were the worst and for the past three decades.

The really bad driving culture is evident every day in Chattanooga and the surrounding area. Inconsiderate, unsafe and illegal driving practices are everywhere, from not using turn signals, running red lights, improper merging and not turning on lights when dark or raining.

I can't go two miles, and I try every day, without seeing one or more of the above.

Some can be attributed to the lack of driver's education in school. This results in Bubba teaching Bubba Jr. and Bubette how to drive, perpetuating the terrible driving we see every day.

Change could certainly happen, but it will not until the police, from the chiefs on down, who see it themselves each and every day, take action and show they care about making the roads safer.

And while they are paying more attention to our roads, start nabbing those who litter this beautiful area. Begin with those who drop cigarette butts all over the place.

Michael Lawrence

***

What ex-Civil War soldiers would say

Oh my! The retro–Civil War warriors are at it again. Whether you call it "Northern War of Aggression" or "War of the Southern Rebellion" or "The Abolitionist War of Black Liberation," war is just that: war.

All of the monuments, memorials and battlefield sites should be kept as a silent reminder of America's bloodiest conflict.

Fact: 620,000 soldiers killed. Think about all of the maimed survivors and widows/orphans on both sides.

Fact: With the exception of Antietam Creek and Gettysburg, it was the North that was the invader burning and destroying everything in sight.

Fact: Only 8 percent of Southerners owned slaves, according to the 1860 census.

Historical debate and research are always good, but re-litigating the Civil War serves no purpose and is incendiary to civic life.

If the Union and Confederate veterans could speak to us today, they all would scream, "Stop trying to re-fight that war because too many people died fighting in it. Work on the present and future to make America a better place."

Ronald Williams

***

Come on, let's welcome visitors

In response to the Sept. 2 letter, "Aquarium area needs attention":

Because I was already familiar with historical, user-friendly Chattanooga, I recently relocated from upstate New York to join family who moved here two years ago.

I recently took my daughter downtown to show her (what I remembered as) the Chattanooga Visitor Center. If you read last Sunday's letter, you know the once vibrant space "promoting regional tourism" is gone — reduced to a poorly located without lighting or signs counter with brochures.

This is the user-friendly Chattanooga I relocated to? Where are the city planners? Where is the Chamber of Commerce? Obviously the interest is there. The tourists are here.

On my search for postcards, my daughter and I took the map/coupons for the shuttle offered by volunteers, then walked up and over the charming bridge by the aquarium, visited the booths of the craft fair and admired the architecture of the Walnut Street Bridge while I pointed out the seven Cherokee Tribe symbols/steps to the Riverwalk, the Hunter Museum area and Rembrandt's.

Chattanooga has a lot to offer. Why are you hiding it?

Barbara M. Traynor

***

Benefit of parking giant questioned

Could anyone tell me what positive function is served by Republic Parking?

The ever-expanding reach of that corporation across parking areas in downtown Chattanooga seems to discourage locals and others to visit downtown to do business.

I am open to any explanation offered by Republic or the city government.

Harry Geller

***

Newspaper question on Nike was loaded

Your question of the day on Wednesday ("Should Nike's ads feature Colin Kaepernick?") on Page One:

Nike can hire God to represent it if they want. Your question is stupid and meant to solicit a certain kind of response. I don't play that.

Rebecca DeBord

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