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June 26, 2022

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DebbieFebruary 15, 2013

Dr. Ogden sounds like a very fun professor. No one should get angry over a teacher teaching us to improve. I would love to hear people correctly pronounce Doctrine and Covenants instead of Doctor and Cuvnunts. I would like to hear Joseph Smith pronounce clearly instead of a quick blur of the name that makes it sound like Josmith. I would love to be a part of refining my own speaking ability. Thank you for the great article.

MaryannFebruary 15, 2013

At last-- an article that raises the bar for excellence in verbal and written communication. I have been stunned to read very poor papers written by high school students.The sentence structure and spelling appears to be the work of a 4th grader. I have also heard adults make sarcastic comments about the "50-cent words" others use.The more we develop our vocabulary, the more accurately and clearly we can express ourselves.

GratefulFebruary 12, 2013

Personally, I loved this article. I found it funny, informative and learned an awful lot. If the truth be known, I'm sure Dr. Ogden is made more fun of than his students! I have no doubt that he does not intentionally embarrass(however you spell that word, too lazy right now to look it up) his students. In contrast I would guess his class is a lot of fun! It would have been nice to read some of his own faux pas, but it's a short article and you can only have so much. Lets face it we have all had our share of laughter in whatever language or dialect or text message we speak. My goodness, comedians make a fortune of it! It's just good to know we can have that variety of "broken English" and also the more refined language where we need to take more care in saying what we mean, and meaning what we say when it comes to the more serious matters. But there definitely needs to be a balance. As in life or language I think that if we are not careful, we will get laxed and start settling for less than the best and to me that would be a detriment to society and sometimes we just need a reminder. It's not the attitude of being better than someone else, it's becoming the best person you can be. Thanks Dr. Ogden, looking forward to more of your articles.

Taryn FoxFebruary 10, 2013

"Increasingly diminishing!"

Barrie GilesFebruary 9, 2013

This article comes at an interesting time. As I closely follow the implementation of the Common Core State Standards (now adopted by almost all states so they can get federal money), I am amazed and alarmed at the abandonment of cursive and the subordination of classic literature in this new curriculum. Thank you Dr. Ogden, for being the champion of the love of our beautiful language and the attempt to teach it to and preserve it for the next generation!

Linda McFateFebruary 9, 2013

Thank you for this article. I seriously doubt that Dr. Ogden would intentionally hurt anyone's feelings, and I don't think there's any harm in refining our understanding of the English language. I'm afraid I have to admit to being one of those people who text in complete sentences! I'm also a legal proofreader. :)

Roy CazierFebruary 9, 2013

All of three of my dictionaries show both pronunciations of "err".

Gail RuggFebruary 9, 2013

Thank you, Dr. Ogden, for the enlightening lesson! As a BYU mother I had the awesome opportunity to audit a few BYU classes. This experience truly broadened my perspective and whet my appetite for more. There was a noticeable influence of the Spirit in the Professors' teaching, which was superior to what I had witnessed in classes of my college years (in the 70's at another university). With Spell Check and other helpful aids as fairly common tools, there is little excuse for final papers, such as you have quoted, to be submitted at the end of a college course. As a convert to the Church, I am particularly sensitive to the mispronounciation of the word Melchizedek. I also request of the Teachers who voice the Sacrament prayers for our congregation that they make sure their "k" sound is clear when they speak the word "ask". Our correct use of words, in whatever language we speak, shows respect for exactness and truth, a form of righteousness. By carefully choosing our spoken and written words, we exhibit a willingness to humble ourselves and to position ourselves for growth through self-control.

RitaFebruary 9, 2013

As an editor and proofreader for an academic publisher, I have seen thousands of errors in final submissions from around the country and across the globe. Most of them seem to come from relying too heavily on the computer to correct their spelling and grammar. My favorite is from Canada; the title of a Masters thesis from a large university was "Indicators of Milk Production in the Holstein Bull." Sometimes, I think no one in the entire school ever reads what students write!

JanetFebruary 9, 2013

Hooray! Someone (Brother Ogden) has finally said what I and my family have been noticing for a long, long time, and which I was thinking about in the middle of the night last night, actually, and that is the poor spelling and grammar we read every day in many places. We really need to teach spelling and grammar (and even handwriting) again in schools. Thank you, Brother Ogden!

Robert StarlingFebruary 9, 2013

This is a great article. In a world where mediocrity is celebrated, we of all people must strive for excellence in all we do. As a writer I often cringe at the spoken and written assaults on our language. Like "Concerned" I grew up in an area where a portion of the poplulation spoke with a "strong dialect" (Georgia), but one can speak with an accent and yet still strive to speak correctly. My mother taught me that it was a sign of respect to yourself and others. Personally I hope "Concerned" is teaching his/her little children to speak correctly. Paul said "when I was a child I spake as a child .... but when I became a man I put away childish things." I LOVE BYU and am proud to be an alumnus along with two of my children. I'm grateful that everything is taught there (at least it is supposed to be) with the spirit of God. I doubt seriously that Bro. Ogden humiliates his students by teaching then correct speaking, spelling, etc. I'm sure he is trying to improve their lives. But Joni, can we please not have to go back to learning Latin? (except for "carpe diem" - I like that one.) Have a great day ya'll!

AnnFebruary 9, 2013

ooops--that you can't be tired!

AnnFebruary 9, 2013

Indefatigable means that you can be tired. Really, that's what it means.

ReginaFebruary 9, 2013

"Air" or "ur" are both correct pronunciations of err, according to my dictionary!

ConcernedFebruary 8, 2013

I think we should our best work in every aspect of our lives, but does mispronouncing or misspelling a word disqualify us from "the most refined society"? Will the illiterate, those with speech impediments, and graduates of "other" colleges be automatically rejected from Zion? I am curious, as well, about your approach to teaching the "correct" way to be a Mormon student. Do you single out students during the exercise at the beginning of the semester and attempt to teach them by humiliation if they are wrong? Are students whose native language is not English included in the exercise? The scriptures make it clear that the Savior wants EVERYONE to come unto Him, and I think that includes those who err (which, by the way, according to my dictionary, comes from a French word that means "to be in error" and can be pronounced "ur" OR "er") in speech and writing. I think we can strive to do our best without striving to prove that we are better than everyone else. I sincerely hope that in publishing this article you are being facetious, but I sense that you are not, so I'm sincerely GRATEful that I didn't go to BYU because even though I would have answered most of your questions correctly, I wouldn't have been good enough! I live in a rural area with a strong dialect, and most people disregard rules of grammar, but I hope that my friends of other faiths don't feel that I act like I am better than they are. I may not use the word "ain't", but I don't poke fun at people who do. What about the message of the Savior in Matthew 18? "And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven." My young children rarely speak or spell properly, but theirs is the "refined society" I'd prefer to be a part of.

Joni HiltonFebruary 8, 2013

Bravo! I loved this piece. I wish education once again would include diction, elocution, poetry memorization, Latin, and all the other lost subjects that could bring so much refinement to our world. For Christmas I gave one of our kids a T-shirt that read, "Let's eat Grandma. Let's eat, Grandma. Commas save lives."



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