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Archive for August, 2012

The Bastardization Continues…

Media is the biggest culprit when it comes to corrupting the English language. Back when I was in school, it was the TV personalities and reporters who started saying ‘persons’ instead of ‘people’.

‘Functionality’ began with computer geeks who never bothered to check a dictionary and started using it online.

Now TV is back to throw English right down the toilet. If you ever watch crime scene investigation type shows, and there are so many now, you’ll have heard this before. When looking at a person who’s been shot, they often discuss the ‘directionality’ of the bullet.  Exsqueeze me? Baking powder?  Let me put it a different way. Does this sound correct to you? What directionality should I drive to get to the U.S. border? What directionality is the wind blowing today? DIRECTION! The correct word is direction. There is no directionality, just like there is no functionality.

The newest trend in the destruction of the English language is using adjectives and adverbs as nouns. There is a Foodland Ontario TV commercial that is currently airing which uses ‘good’ as a noun. And no, it’s not ‘good’ as in ‘goods and services’. The young lady who narrates the commercial says things like “buy the good”, “share the good” and “cook the good”. Good lord!

A second one I’ve seen now is a Reebok/Sportchek commercial, where the narrator talks about “your better”. My better what? I keep waiting for the narrator to finish his sentence. How about my better speaking ability? My English is clearly better than yours? Maybe you better buy a dictionary?

That’s good enough for now. And no, I don’t feel any better.

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Realistic Medal Expectations

In the 2006 winter Olympics Cindy Klassen won 6 medals. We, in Canada, were rightfully quite proud of her. But I remember an athlete from another country questioning why we were so proud of her for winning 6 medals, but only 1 gold.

This got me thinking about our current Olympic performance. I am proud we have as many medals as we do at this point. We’re not really a summer Olympic country. Our specialty is the winter Olympics. I’m just happy we have medals, of any colour. But what should we realistically be expecting?

We’re a small country. The population of Canada is just slightly less than the greater Tokyo area! I think we do pretty well considering our tiny population base. In fact I would say we are overachieving.

So I decided to do a little research and break it down to the numbers. Based on our population and nominal GDP, what should our medal expectations be?

Country

Population (mil.)

GDP

(tril.) *

Medal Count as of August 1st

China

1,337

7.300

30

USA

313

15.09

29

Japan

126

5.869

17

France

65

2.776

13

Germany

81

3.577

13

South Korea

48

1.116

12

Russia

138

1.850

11

Italy

61

2.199

9

Great Britain

62

2.418

9

Australia

21

1.488

9

Ukraine

45

0.165

6

Romania

22

0.1899

6

Canada

34

1.737

6

North Korea

24

0.028

5

 

 

 

 

*GDP based on CIA statistics

 

 

If we look strictly at the numbers, we are definitely overachieving. Looking at it another way, the top countries are underachieving. Comparing us to our big brother to the south, as we love to do, we should have about one tenth of their medals based on population or GDP. Taking this one step further, China should have about 39 times as many medals as Canada, based on population. The numbers are here for you to decide for yourself. Are we doing well?

Categories: Sports