Linguistic Bankruptcy in America? There are one million reasons to not use the ‘B’ word.

In my teen years, we had milk cows on our small farm. One of those cows was part herford, part Brahmin. It was the Brahmin part that was the problem with this animal. She could jump over or barbed-wire fence with the greatest of ease. It was left to me to capture her and get back into our pasture.

I would run up behind her, grab her horns and fall to the ground, causing the cow to follow suit. While holding her head down, I would slip a loop over her horns, give a half-twist to the rope as I wrapped it around her nose.

My first story brought to mind a second story. There was a larger, older boy in my school. Gordon was his name, as I recall. Gordon was about twice my size. He delighted in pushing smaller kids around.

On the four-block walk home, my younger sister and I would usually walk together. One afternoon, Gordon unwisely chose to jump me and pull me to the ground. Although Ginger and I fought like cats and dogs at home, we readily came to the aid of one another in such situations. I was now in the ditch on my back, Gordon was atop me. Suddenly, much to Gordon’s surprise, my little sister was atop Gordon beating the snot out of him. Once loose from us, he raced home away from us. Never again would Gordon exercise aggression against either Ginger or me.

Our American English vocabulary features approximately one million words. reports, “In a 2011 interview with the BBC, lexicographer Susie Dent estimated that while an English speaker may know around 40,000 words, they only actively use about 20,000 of them.”

Now, a test. Count the number of times I used the word ‘bully’ as either a noun or a verb.

An article in The American Journal of Economics asked the question, Is Higher Education Making Students Dumb and Dumber? The article describes how high technology employers readily hire people with no college degree but have exceptional skills.

Admiral Chester Nimitz observed, “The bulwarks of our liberty are men and women who read and think.”

Knowledge is Power

John White
Rockwall, Texas


Published by John White

A lifetime (over 50 years) of experiences with automation and control systems ranging from aerospace navigation, radar, and ordinance delivery systems to the world's first robotic drilling machine for the oil patch, to process-control systems, energy management systems and general problem-solving. At present, my focus is on self-funding HVAC retrofit projects and indoor air quality with a view to preventing infections from airborne pathogens.

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