Sunday, May 3, 2009

June 10th, 2009, 10:22 a.m. Stratford-on Avon time

According to JJ Payack, president and chief word analyst at the Global Language Monitor, their algorithms show that on June 22, 2009, at precisely 10:22 a.m., Stratford-on Avon time, the millionth English word will be reached. Some, whom I respect, actually believe it! The Smithsonian magazine printed a flattering article about it, and part of it was quoted on Boing Boing, which I also respect. What are they thinking? [Boing Boing does note that in their "about" page on the Global Language Monitor, they had misspelled "dictionary." I assume it's corrected now.]

Of course, the more elite know the real story. On Wordcraft we've discussed this ridiculous concept for awhile now. Language Log and DC Blog have disputed it in a very scholarly way.

In the end there will be no way to actually find them wrong. Let them continue with their drivel, but let's hope people will at least read both sides of the debate. So often these days people pick up one study or read one article, and they make up their minds. A good example of this is happening in Texas right now. The "brilliant" legislators are calling for one study to "prove" that we need clinical experiences in nursing education. Forget that nursing is a practice discipline. Forget that there is expert consensus that nurses need supervised clinical experiences. Forget that all other health care professionals have supervised clinical experiences. One study, these "knowledgeable" legislators believe, will be enough to change the whole course of nursing. What a bunch of dufuses (or is it dufi?!). What they don't consider is that someday they will get sick, or their children, or their parents, and they will be cared by a "nurse" who has never picked up a syringe, touched a patient, read an EKG, or picked up on a subtle change in a patient's condition. What then? Off to the courts!

The point is, and I have wandered a bit, do not just believe this JJ Payack until you have read and considered both sides of the story. When you do, I predict you will agree with the Brits in DC Blog...this is a load of rubbish!

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