Watch Your Language


Last week, during the annual Poetry Festival at my high school, acclaimed poet BJ Ward spoke to my creative writing class about being sensitive to language-- he deconstructed the Pledge of Allegiance and wondered why the students were required to repeat it every morning if it was actually a pledge . . . a serious promise that is eternal . . . e.g. I have pledged to eat more tacos in 2011-- and since his presentation, I have been more alert to the words around me; for example, I noticed a Watch Children sign in Ward's hometown of Edison, and I wondered why they couldn't add the preposition "for" into the statement . . . Watch For Children isn't as ominous and ambiguous Watch Children, which could be advice from one pedophile to another, or a paranoid warning from a wary old person.

5 comments:

Whitney said...

Could also be an advertisement for kids who can tell time.

zman said...

Is your point that we need to use sensitive language with respect to BJs?

Dave said...

yes and yes.

89d28b40-76b6-11e0-8e2e-000bcdcb2996 said...

twitter led me to this post. i think i am happy that i read it.

Anonymous said...

There are also "Slow Children" signs. I think they meant to include a comma.

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