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I ain't a prude, but...

By Guernsey Le Pelley / February 3, 1987



BY and large, I don't consider myself a prude. A prune, maybe, according to a few critical but unenlightened readers. But a prude? No. Except in a few minor cases where being a prude is the intelligent thing to be. Where I am put to the test, however, is in listening to the English used on television, filling the already badly educated minds of our children. I readily agree English is a living, growing language, but that doesn't excuse the wanton and senseless destruction of it by commentators with million-dollar contracts. If they can't speak good English, why pay them so much?

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A lot of them avoid the word ``good'' because a lot of morons on TV use ``good'' incorrectly. Therefore they all use the word ``well'' incorrectly to prove they have background. As one highly paid commentator said recently, ``The dress looks well on Nancy.'' Oh, really? To me that conveys a picture of a dress full of eyes, peering in every direction. The dress looked good on Nancy. With annoying consistency commentators say things similar to, ``It is difficult to deal with those kind of governments.'' Why can't they deserve their salary by saying, ``... that kind of government''?

Oh, yes, I did go up the wall when an actress - one million dollars a picture - was asked where she got her expensive diamond necklace. ``I get all my jewl-ery abroad,'' she said. I say if she doesn't know how to say jewelry, it ought to be snatched off her, then and there.

The word ``hopefully'' has gone beyond all hope. As one college football player said: ``They won't win the game tomorrow, hopefully.'' Just once, can't some student, professor, senator, president, or man-in-the-street say, ``I hope they won't win the game tomorrow''?

But, as I say, I am not a prude and English is a living language, so I can put up with questionable English when the wisdom involved outweighs the sensitivity for grammar. ``If it ain't broke, don't fix it.''

Then just when the day is going along pleasantly a theater critic asks a newly risen star when he will start his next picture. ``Like November,'' is the answer.

We'll have to let it go at that.