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Fluency and facility with the English language is one of the most valuable skills on Earth. The lack of the same among the general population is solely due to a pervasive lack of reading. I see this all the time as a teacher. Part of the blame for this is the heavy emphasis our society places on technical and quantitative skills, but really it’s just a general cultural laziness and decadence. It’s shameful really, and it will take a catastrophe for us to snap out of it, if even then.

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Sep 17, 2023Liked by Bruce Ivar Gudmundsson

Let’s eat children. Let’s eat, children.

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Sep 17, 2023Liked by Bruce Ivar Gudmundsson

I had the questionable privilege of covering a number of generals' speeches during my time at Columbia, and it was astonishing how they could declare pretty much everything -- gender, climate, budget increases, vegetarianism, etc. -- "a national security issue." The warfighting seemed largely beside the point.

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Sep 17, 2023Liked by Bruce Ivar Gudmundsson

I'll sign up for this war. "On Writing Well," has been my go-to for years.

Words are powerful. We developed them to convey these things called "ideas." I hear they're all the rage in Paris. Clear, concise, pithy writing, conveys ideas clearly and precisely. Middle-management word salad is a diabolical trick of Grimma Wormtongue.

Also, long-live the Oxford comma !

Having stirred the pot, I'll see myself out......

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Sep 20, 2023Liked by Bruce Ivar Gudmundsson

I recently heard the following, from the incoming Indopacom commander, who stopped a brief to announce:

“There are 4 enemies in my life and profession:

1. Satan

2. The Passive Voice

3. Tyranny

4. Intolerance

...and the last 3 are the progeny of the first!”

A great hardline expectation from a commander!

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Sep 18, 2023Liked by Bruce Ivar Gudmundsson

Many, many frosts ago, in the intelligence biz, we were passing around a well-thumbed copy of https://www.amazon.com/Less-Than-Words-Can-Say/dp/0316575062.

I recommend it as the 155 in the arsenal against illiteracy. As I recall, it contains an entire fusillade against the passive voice, another against over-capitalization, and yet another salvo against bureaucratic syntax, generally.

Where does one enlist?

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I have a hard time getting this point acroes to those individuals staunchly interested in defending modern academia and the US university system. STEM majors decry liberal arts as a waste of time. Liberal arts majors hardly get a quality education in the liberal arts.

Reading about the imperial Chinese civil service examinations and the rigorous studying required for them made clear to me that our failure to train our young future-leaders (of all echelons) in the English language is destructive to the very way they think, not just the way they write and speak.

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