May 23, 2009

U.S. Secretary of Mixed Metaphors

"Investing in the status quo is not going to move the ball down the field," said Arne Duncan in discussing California education, and I wince. This is a Secretary of Education who thinks "incent" is a word, and when asked yesterday what happens when he plays the president in basketball, he answered,

Everyone asks me that. We usually don't play one-on-one. We usually play on the same team. We do pretty good.

No one has spoken using perfectly-correct grammar since Peter Jennings died, and Duncan is nowhere close to Joe Biden on the embarrassment scale (let alone GWB). But for someone who runs a Department of Education? Even if it is largely irrelevant to policy debates, this is at least a little embarrassing. 

Addendum (2 pm): And to prove that no one is perfect, I realized that I should have used using in the paragraph above, where I have now added it. That correction does not necessarily make me any better a user of language than I was at 9 in the morning, but maybe I am a little less of an abuser of language.

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Tags: Arne Duncan
Posted in Education policy on May 23, 2009 8:50 AM |