Bad Manners, Bad Grammar

The margin of litigation grows by the hour. It is leaflets like the one below from Ohio that make me rather certain that the US elections will not be over when the polls close tonight.

And it’s apparently not a joke. According to the Ohio Voter Suppression News (sic!), the Franklin County Board of Elections held a news conference Monday afternoon to announce that the above pamphlet had indeed been distributed in parts of the county.

I am not a native English speaker, so please correct me if I’m wrong. But in my opinion, in addition to (probably) committing a crime, the authors of the pamphlet are not just exhibiting their bad manners but also their surprisingly limited knowledge of English grammar (first highlighted section).

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About Tobias Schwarz

German, turned 30 a while ago, balding slowly, hopefully with grace. A carnival junkie, who, after studies in business and politics in Mannheim, Paris, and London, is currently living in his hometown of Mainz, Germany, again. Became New Labourite during a research job at the House of Commons, but difficult to place in German party-political terms. Liberal in the true sense of the term.

His political writing is mostly on A Fistful of Euros and on facebook these days. Occasional Twitter user and songwriter. His personal blog is almost a diary. Even more links at about.me.

13 thoughts on “Bad Manners, Bad Grammar

  1. The Onion has an article along those lines up.

    But yeah, the grammar is bad, and highly unlikely that it’d be phrased as that poster puts it. I think it’s a hoax.

  2. That’s got to be fake, right? “Voting is a privilege”?

    Then again, having seen some of the leaflets that have been going around (“you can’t vote if anyone in your family has a criminal record”, “you can’t vote if you’ve already voted in an election in the last two years”) and the like, it wouldn’t entirely surprise me…

  3. Yeah, it’s a hoax. I think it was Douglas Adams who said something like “No one ever claimed bigots were smart”. The same sort of thing seems to apply here.

  4. As a Frenchman with children in the american system I must say I am Amazed by the lack of interest the education system shows relative to grammar.
    In NY state, English is not even part of the Academics one must have to get the High School diploma.
    Last year my 5th grade son teacher was fresh back from 3 years teaching english in Spain. It was the first time she taught grammar.

    American have the same relation with language, including their own, that they have with food.
    This is a vital function that have to be minimized.

  5. This isn’t actually too new – I’ve seen things like this in US elections before. Sadly dirty tricks aren’t something new for 2004.

  6. The exit polling show an electoral pattern that will easily give John Kerry the election. Florida, Ohio, Wisconsin… My guess is 300 electoral votes easily.

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