Enunciation Emancipation

Or The Abdication due to the Abduction of our Education

Moses and the elders of Israel commanded the people: “Keep all these commands that I give you today. When you have crossed the Jordan into the land the Lord your God is giving you, set up some large stones and coat them with plaster. Write on them all the words of this law when you have crossed over to enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, promised you. And when you have crossed the Jordan, set up these stones on Mount Ebal, as I command you today, and coat them with plaster. Build there an altar to the Lord your God, an altar of stones. Do not use any iron tool on them. Build the altar of the Lord your God with fieldstones and offer burnt offerings on it to the Lord your God. Sacrifice fellowship offerings there, eating them and rejoicing in the presence of the Lord your God. And you shall write very clearly all the words of this law on these stones you have set up.”

  • Deuteronomy 27:1-8

King Solomon sent to Tyre and brought Huram, whose mother was a widow from the tribe of Naphtali and whose father was from Tyre and a skilled craftsman in bronze. Huram was filled with wisdom, with understanding and with knowledge to do all kinds of bronze work. He came to King Solomon and did all the work assigned to him.

  • 1 Kings 7:13-14

The fearful heart will know and understand,
    and the stammering tongue will be fluent and clear.

  • Isaiah 32:4

The anger of the Lord will not turn back
    until he fully accomplishes
    the purposes of his heart.
In days to come
    you will understand it clearly.

  • Jeremiah 23:20

In a gadda da vida, honey
Don’t you know that I’m lovin’ you
In a gadda da vida, baby
Don’t you know that I’ll always be true

Oh, won’t you come with me
And take my hand
Oh, won’t you come with me
And walk this land
Please take my hand”

  • Douglas Ingle, In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida (In the Garden of Eden)

It is truly astounding what havoc students can wreak upon the chronicles of the human race. I have pasted together the following ‘history’ of the world from genuine student bloopers collected by teachers throughout the United States, from eighth grade through college level. Read carefully, and you will learn a lot:
“Ancient Egypt was inhabited by mummies, and they all wrote in hydraulics. They lived in the Sarah Dessert and traveled by Camelot. The climate of the Sarah is such that the inhabitants have to live elsewhere, so certain areas of the dessert are cultivated by irritation.
“The pyramids are a range of mountains between France and Spain. The Egyptians built the pyramids in the shape of a huge triangular cube.
“The Bible is full of interesting caricatures. In the first book of the Bible, Guinessis, Adam and Eve were created from an apple tree. One of their children, Cain, asked, ‘Am I my brother’s son?’
“God asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac on Mount Montezuma. Jacob, son of Isaac, stole his brother’s birthmark. Jacob was a patriarch who brought up his 12 sons to be patriarchs, but they did not take to it. One of Jacob’s sons, Joseph, gave refuse to the Israelites.
“Pharaoh forced the Hebrew slaves to make bread without straw. Moses led them to the Red Sea, where they made unleavened bread, which is bread made without any ingredients. Afterwards, Moses went up on Mount Cyanide to get the ten commandments. He died before he ever reached Canada.
“David was a Hebrew king skilled at playing the liar. He fought with the Finkelsteins, a race of people who lived in Biblical times. Solomon, one of David’s sons, had 300 wives and 700 porcupines.”

  • Richard Lederer, Anguished English (from the chapter entitled The World According to Student Bloopers)

As for the Scriptures, Moses was on Mount Sinai, not Mount Cyanide, with the first one, but since it comes from Deuteronomy, this is in the retelling of the story.  You know, before Moses missed his chance of reaching Canada.

In the second Scripture, Solomon could trust Huram, like Moses trusted Bezalel and Oholiab, because Huram had “understanding.”  This had to come from the Holy Spirit, but the understanding was communicated with clearly spoken and written language that both Solomon and Huram understood.  And the last two prophecies speak of understanding the message clearly.

I went to visit cousins in Florida when my female cousin graduated high school.  She was a year ahead of me, and her brother, who was a few months younger than I was, was listening to “In a Gadda Da Vida,” the seventeen-minute version, not the shortened version to get it on American Bandstand or the unrecorded thirty-five minute version that some people claim was in a live concert.  Like Doug Ingle tells Dick Clark in the video below, they start with something and then the band does their thing.  When I heard him listening to the song, I asked my cousin if that was not some sort of new curse against God, as many people spell Gadda with an “o”.  He laughed and said that Iron Butterfly was smoking something when they recorded In the Garden of Eden, written by the vocalist and keyboardist Douglas Ingle.  He even showed me the sheet music.  But after the band heard what everyone thought they were hearing, the band changed the name of the song, and garbled the enunciation on purpose.

Two things that I got from that video, no three: 1) Iron Butterfly is considered by many the band that created the “Heavy” sound, leading to Heavy Metal.  It is odd that Dick Clark asked them how much their equipment weighs.  It brings an entirely different picture of Heavy Metal to my brain.  2) The introduction guitar licks are the standard among a group of guys who get together and someone, with no music playing, provides his own guitar sounds while playing an air guitar.  It seems to happen without fail, but I wonder if any of them know what song they are imitating. And the bonus 3) Heavy Metal music may or may not have caused the deafness of thousands or millions of people.  You ask them, and there answer is “What!!  What did you say?!?!”

Now for the quote from Richard Lederer’s book Anguished English.  I hope you enjoyed this look at fractured history through mistakes made on essays.  Mr. Lederer, who earned a PhD in linguistics, was a teacher in Connecticut.  Besides the quoted book, I have Get Thee To a Punnery and Crazy English. I guess if you hang a shingle that says “All Cards and Letters Welcome,” more and more teachers will send in student mistakes.  But I seem to remember another book where Mr. Lederer had a chapter on misunderstood song lyrics.  I cannot find it.

You know, like Elton John in Bennie and the Jets singing: “she’s got electric boobs, a bowl of soup.”  Oops, my bad, that should be “she’s got electric boots, a mohair suit.”

I’m pretty sure Jimi Hendrix said in Purple Rain, “Scuse me while I kiss this guy.”  No?  He really said “Scuse me while I kiss the sky?”  Scuse me for misunderstanding, ‘cause Scuse isn’t a word anyway!

And I have no idea why Bob Dylan has this fetish about ants.  The ants are his friends?  But they blow in the wind?  Oh, my bad again.  It is supposed to be “The answer, my friends, is blowing in the wind.”

But my point here is what Michael Jackson sang in the lyrics of Man in the Mirror, “And no Mrs. could have been any clever.”  Sorry, my bad, again. “And no message could be any clearer.”

I had a conversation one day after church with someone that appreciates good music.  He said, “The soloist today was wonderful.  Such beautiful notes, such clear tones, such fantastic range.”

My response was, “Do you have any idea any of the words she sang?  Sure, she hit the notes, but the point of good church music is to convey a message.  If there is no message, just have the soloist sit down and be quiet, and we can listen to the organist, or pianist, or the band playing an instrumental song.”

Now Roy Clark admitted that early in his career, he’d sing a lot of his instrumentals.  Folks would come from miles around, stand in a semicircle in front of him and scratch their heads.  But that is an exception.

We need to be more like Jake Hess (1927-2004).  Not that he is passed on, but that when he sang Southern Gospel Music, he sang with careful enunciation.  When he formed the Imperials, a Southern Gospel Group, they became Elvis Presley’s backup group for about five years.  Elvis Presley claimed Jake Hess was his favorite singer. Jake Hess hit the notes, but his focus was that you clearly understood the lyrics.  Here’s an example, singing When He Was on the Cross (I Was on His Mind).

Maybe Jake’s style does not fit in the modern way of doing things, but maybe that is part of the problem.  The message conveyed in the words is important.

My son has a hearing loss.  He wears hearing aids, but sometimes he does not enunciate too well.  I am amazed at how many languages he can speak.  I brag about him all the time.  I say that my son can mumble in at least twenty different languages.  Hey, it may be mumbling, but people who speak that language can pick it up, and his penmanship in Hindi is so good, some of the people in India that I worked with thought he wrote better than most people in India.

We have enough trouble living the Christian life so that others know we are Christians.  That message is a constant struggle, but our speech can be clearer, and our writing can be in full sentences that make sense.  I apologize for all the typos!!  I review and review!! Honest!!!!

Just as I typed the last exclamation point, the phone rang for additional emphasis…  No, it was my wife.  Her doctor wanted her to take Imodium.  She has had diarrhea so bad over the past ten days that four of those days she got no sleep at night, none.  My question is: Why did I drive to two different pharmacies, who were sold out of Imodium before finding some, just for her to take one pill and then forget she had the medicine, losing four nights of sleep in the process?

Part of making the message clear is that the other person needs to take that message to heart.

We cannot control that part, but we can enunciate.  When we emancipate the need for enunciation, we get gibberish and our message is lost.

Soli Deo Gloria.  Only to God be the Glory.

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