The decline of our language may have been certified when the new term for teaching English in K-12 schools, “Language Arts,” substituted vague complexity for simple precision, as it is in K-12 that English dies. For anyone of the old school, recent graduates have made reading even the leading newspapers exquisite torture.

When language is ungrammatical, asyntactical, or illogical, everything follows—the practice of medicine, flying of airplanes, building of bridges, writing of love letters, and ars gratia artis. Carelessness in expression infectiously hastens the general decay. Here are just a few choice examples from publications that should know better.

Whereas one advocates for a person, one advocates a policy—of which, not for which, one is an advocate. You do not arrive to, but in or at a place. As Cleopatra might say, there is no such thing as an ask: it is a request. You don’t resolve obstacles, you overcome them, just as you don’t solve questions, but answer them. Although an issue can be a problem and a problem can be an issue, they are not synonymous, and when they are used as such it’s a problem, not an issue. “This” is not an indefinite article. Missing an antecedent, you don’t say, “I saw this dog,” but “I saw a dog.”

Unlike The New York Times’s

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