Editor, the Gauntlet,
Re: "Making an example of the Gauntlet," Feb. 12, 2004,
I would like to thank Dr. Osborn for giving me a good laugh in his letter in your Feb. 12 issue.
Prior to reading the letter, my son complained to me that he didn't understand some composition he was supposed to study for school, comparing the author to "a stupid caveman" for using long words in unusual ways. He departed with my dictionary, complaining that authors shouldn't use words with which he was not personally familiar. I gave him the standard silver platter speech.
Twenty minutes hence, he proclaimed, "I didn't know you could make beautiful things with words." He was ever so excited that someone had put in one paragraph what would have taken him pages and pages to write, and with such "neatness!"
Before I could ask him what he was reading (to which he later replied "something called the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States,"), he questioned why we all didn't write with such beauty and "neatness." I replied something to the effect of "not everyone wants to learn to use English to its full potential."
Later, I showed him Dr. Osborn's letter. He asked why Dr. Osborn hated English so much, and then he laughed too.