Monday, February 26, 2007

Forget the Chief and hit the books

After the Daily Illini's recent redesign, readers can now post comments on articles and editorials. Basically, they've enabled blog comments in the online version of the newspaper. This isn't exclusive to the DI; Salon has done the same thing. Frankly, I don't think it's a good idea, for reasons I'm not going to go into here.

Today, the DI had an editorial about the board's decision to get rid of Chief Illiniwek. There were a handful of comments. A commenter named "lyn" left this:

how about we do that and then we do something more than just symbolic. Why not a lasuit agaisnt the NCAA funded by the money from fans, alumsm students and faculty who intend to withhold said money from the U in protest of the CHief decision. There are to start with 12,400 signaturs on the web petition pledging to so scuh.

We can go afterafter the NCAA for capricious implementation of subjective policy that exceeded their (Ncaa"s) authority and resulted in the violation of first amendment rights. The damages to the reputation and image of the UICU as well depriving 10s of thousands of a meaningful tradition could be a beginning. Dan Maloney was deprived of his 1st amendment rights also...

It goes on. She posts two more times. The third time was in ALL CAPS BECAUSE SHE HAS SOMETHING IMPORTANT TO SAY.

Seriously, this is just embarrassing. I hope to God that lyn is not a UIUC student. In the above quote, I was going to point out each misspelling, grammatical mistake, and other error that a moment's proofreading would have caught, but realized that would be every single word. Parts of it are so incoherent I actually can't figure out what she's trying to say.

The ineptness of the writing aside, she seems to be claiming that there's some First Amendment issue with the Chief. I'm sorry, but that's just bunk. The NCAA is a private organization. UIUC was welcome to keep the Chief, but the NCAA didn't want to associate with us if it did. End of story. They were well within their rights to do so.

Getting back to lyn's comments, if this is the quality of writing our undergraduates display, we need to attract a better caliber of student. I don't care if you're studying nuclear physics, political science, or freaking physical education, decent communication skills are imperative. UIUC is ranked as the 25th best university in the world, for crying out loud. Our students should be able to throw together half a dozen coherent sentences, even on the spur of the moment.

Then again, I should probably just look on the bright side. Maybe she was just drunk.


Anonymous said...

Sadly, the ability to communicate clearly and correctly is becoming a rare skill. I saw it while in school, as I was in the computer science field, and most people (professors included) struggled with strong writing/communication skills.
Now, I see signs of poor communication everywhere and it just seems to be getting worse. Even though I fall prey to mispronunciation at times, I am at least aware of my mistakes and try to correct them.
*shrug* People just don't care anymore.

David said...

Let's face it; text messaging has permanently eliminated the need for vowels and/or verbs and/or complete sentences. Not that that's the cause; more like one of the more notable symptoms.

America, compared to the rest of the world, has a crappy education system. I mean, heaven forbid anyone actually learn something before graduating. Why bother, when athletic scholarships and sports programs practically guarantee them a free ride and bonus degree?

Sorry, a pet peeve just slipped out. I'll put it back in its cage now.