Editor's note to the NCDP

In the political realm, all communications are important, and should be crafted with care. This is even more important for online communications, because they are (generally) preserved for posterity somewhere in the cloud and can resurface at inopportune times. The following is excerpted from an e-mail, but the editorial notes are mine:

Folks, many of you know that during the past several months, I have been traveling around our great state sounding the alarm on the Republican’s (1) education plan. Over the weekend, Governor McCrory negotiated a budget that cuts nearly a half-billion dollars from public education in North Carolina. As the former Superintendent of Public Instruction and Congressman (2), I am in total shock over what the Republicans are trying to pull. This budget is my worst nightmare.

(1) The location of the (possessive) apostrophe would indicate a single individual as opposed to a group. This would work if the noun indicated a group (Republican Party's education plan), but it doesn't, so Republicans' is the proper form.

(2) In the absence of further context (Congressman for the district/region blah blah), it should be "a" Congressman.

The Republicans are slashing our public education, and their proposal begins to dismantle our schools. Here are just a few items on how it will effect (3) our education system:

(3) This is a toughie, but the word should be "affect." While the individual items are in fact "effects", the construction of the sentence forms the word into a verb. Ergo, "affect."

Will force over 4,000 teachers and 3,800 teachers (4) assistants out of the classroom

(4) Since the plural form of "teachers" is used, the possessive apostrophe is needed: "teachers' assistants." The singular "teacher assistants" is (I believe) the preferred classification.

Will take your tax dollars and puts (5) them in for-profit private schools leading us down the path to privatizing education

(5) Tense dictates form: "takes/puts" or "will take/put." (side note: "in" is not incorrect, but "into" would be better).

Will raise some college tuition; will cause over 10,000 students will (6) lose financial aid to UNC system campuses and community colleges

(6) ..."to" lose financial aid...

Will phase out the NC Teaching Fellows Program

Will create a merit pay plan for teachers while abolishing teacher tenure

Additionally, the McCrory-negotiated budget does not allow for any pay raises for our teachers. This is absolutely disrespectful to the men and women who teach our children.

For over 60 years, both Democrats and Republicans have recognized the importance of the need for a great education (7). There are great leaders such as Jim Hunt and Terry Sanford that made our education (8) a national model; now, we are on the front pages of national newspapers in a negative way.

(7) Seems like it's missing the word "system."
(8) Definitely missing the word "system."

North Carolina has a long history of investing in our public education. Through the years, elected officials have understood the importance of investing in public education--strong schools attract businesses to locate here which means more jobs. The GOP in today’s General Assembly just don’t (9) understand our history.

(9) I'll probably get some argument on this, but..."the GOP", while representing many people, still takes the form of an "it" in this context. And it "doesn't" understand our history. If "Republicans in today's General Assembly" had been used, "don't" would have been correct. If a contraction can be correctly described as correct, that is.

Governor McCorory’s negotiated budget hurt (10) our teachers, children, and our state. Instead of taking our great state forward, their proposals will take us backwards. This budget slashes education funding while giving tax breaks to the super wealthy. I encourage you to call and tell Governor McCrory to veto this budget. Its bad for our children. Its bad for North Carolina.

(10) "Will hurt" or "hurts", but not "hurt."

This proposed budget puts our public schools, teachers, and children in jeopardy and thwarts economic recovery and job growth. Please call the Governor at (919) 814-2000 right now and tell him to veto the budget.

This diary is not intended to cast aspersions, or to be otherwise used to fuel any intra-party squabbling or similar sophomoric behavior. It is merely intended to force people to take their communications seriously, and to understand that form and substance go hand-in-hand, especially with written communications, and bad form can distract from good substance.


Please do what he says

Regardless of how he says it.


I'm always afraid to play the role of grammar police, since I'm so prone to screwing it up.

Kudos to ya brother! Keep up the fine work.


"...the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be."

Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter from Birmingham Jail

Me too, on both counts

Hell, I probably break more rules than most people. It comes with the voice. Run-on sentences and adverbs flying around. But whatever shows up has (usually) been vetted and second-thoughted, before I push it out there. In other words, I have no plausible excuse. ;)