In yesterday's Doonesbury, Earl and Duke discuss possible angles for a PR campaign in favor of Texas secession:
Here's the petition text:
The US continues to suffer economic difficulties stemming from the federal government's neglect to reform domestic and foreign spending. The citizens of the US suffer from blatant abuses of their rights such as the NDAA, the TSA, etc. Given that the state of Texas maintains a balanced budget and is the 15th largest economy in the world, it is practically feasible for Texas to withdraw from the union, and to do so would protect it's citizens' standard of living and re-secure their rights and liberties in accordance with the original ideas and beliefs of our founding fathers which are no longer being reflected by the federal government.
I don't see any actual syntax errors. I'm no copy editor, but my tally of "errors in … usage and punctuation" is:
- one spelling error ("it's citizens' standard of living");
- three places where commas perhaps should have been placed ("…abuse of their rights _ such as the NDAA…", "… their rights and liberties _ in accordance with…", …the original ideas and beliefs of our founding fathers _ which are no longer being reflected…");
- one questionable nominal complement ("… the federal government's neglect to reform domestic and foreign spending"), or perhaps this is a questionable noun choice (neglect instead of failure);
- one questionable verb choice (reflect in "the original ideas and beliefs of our founding fathers which are no longer being reflected by the federal government").
The text is awkwardly expressed in other ways, but I don't think it's fair to describe it as "filled with errors in syntax, usage and punctuation". "Badly written and politically loopy" is nearer the mark, in my opinion.
The interesting thing here is Earl's idea that the popularity of this text in Texas is evidence for a eugenic rather than a political or educational problem.
The strip above is the fourth of a series of (so far) five strips on the Texas secession issue. Here are the first three:
Today's strip continues the story, though without additional linguistic or genetic observations:
As John Bainbridge wrote in The New Yorker in 1961,
It is currently fashionable among the more advanced spirits in this country to look upon Texas with an air of amused condescension.