Grammar and Global Warming

Hello again, my dear single reader. Single as in solo, not as in Han, but as in being only one reader, not in reference to your social life.

After, or rather in the midst of my second double Americano, I have decided to write about a subject I have been thinking about a long time, but do not have enough concrete examples to fully support and elucidate my hypothesis.

My hypothesis: Bad grammar, specifically subject-verb agreement, leads to weak thinking.

Take the following sentence – The well appointed man wearing many felt hats are going to the haberdashery.

It should be – The well appointed man wearing many felt hats IS going to the haberdashery.

The subject of the sentence is man and he is going to the haberdashery. Granted the hats are also going to the haberdashery as they rest upon his head. The hats, however, are the object of the preposition of and, therefore, not the subject of the sentence. The singular form of the verb “to be” is needed because the single noun and not the plural noun is the subject of the sentence.

The plural form “are” would be used if hats were the subject of the sentence.

The many felt hats on the well appointed man are going to the haberdashery.

More and more I hear and read incorrect subject-verb agreement. People are using the noun that is closest to the verb to determine which form of the verb use. This shows an inability to think complex thoughts. It shows a need for immediacy and the inability to think through more than one step.

How does this connect to global warming, you ask. Take the term global warming. Climate scientists chose this term because on average the temperature around the globe is warming. The global climate is changing and warming. This warming is causing large temperature changes over the whole globe. This is why it is now a lot colder in San Diego than normal. This is why it was a lot warmer in So Cal in November than normal.

Most people assume that because the term has the word “warming” in it, they will only experience warming. They are not able to put do the mental process of global warming- the whole globe/average temperature – temperature swings. They are looking only at the immediate relationship of “warming” to what they are experiencing right now.

This leads me to another hypothesis – Most people in the Tea Party do not use correct grammar.

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