Monday, August 29, 2005

I Drop It

This didn't surprise me, but it did make me mad. Which, of course, means that I have to share it. California has simplified the instructions it provides its jurors. Why? "Confusing terminology" is cited as the cause. Here's the example that was provided, and I'll let you decide whether it was confusing or not:

Old: "Innocent misrecollection is not uncommon."
New: "People sometimes honestly forget things or make mistakes about what they remember."

The first one has five words and is easy to comprehend. The second has twelve words and smacks of a third-grade reader. The problem is not that the wording is "confusing", the problem is that we're cranking out illiterates in our schools. I just hope that everyone gets on with their cave paintings after I'm dead. Or send me to a cave with my books, and they can go on with their pointing and grunting. When the "No Child Left Behind" rule came along and put the responsibility of a child's education on the school instead of the child, that marked the end of any hope for even a minimally-educated America. In my book, anyway. Reason 834,072 not to replicate the DNA.

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