Communication, in general

I have spent part of my career writing “talking points.” If this term is new to you, it’s just a way of saying that someone has asked you what they should say if asked about a particular topic, and you’ve given them three or four points to help them out.

I suppose it would be naive to admit that I find it hard to believe there are people who need talking points to make conversation with their college student. As the parent of one such student, and having been a college student myself, I recognize that going to college is a major transition in a young person’s life. I also recognize that today’s student has many more channels to keep in touch with friends and family than ever before: cell phones, texting, Facebook and email can all help a student stay connected and grounded. I remember how lucky I felt when I was in college and my mom became a switchboard operator. I could call her on a toll-free number and share all the great things that were happening whenever I thought of them, a luxury that I’m sure few students enjoyed.

I know that the folks who put this newsletter together mean well, and only want their new batch of freshmen to succeed, so if it appears I’m being overly harsh I don’t mean to sound that way. Again, I feel fortunate that I have the kind of relationship with my daughter that I don’t feel I need these thought-starters. 

However, let me not forget the reason I selected this passage as the subject of today’s blog: the omission of the word “to” in the first sentence, and also the misspelling of the word “gage” (it should be “gauge”).

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One response to “Communication, in general

  1. Kathryn

    It’s not standard, agreed–but my deskside “Webster’s New World Dictionary of the American Language, College Edition[!]” published in 1964, does list “gage” and defines it as “gauge”; it doesn’t include it as an alternative spelling in the entry for “gauge,” and I’m not sure what that tells us. . .

    I would probably have agreed with your observation and passed on without checking, but there was a recent post in a thread on the LinkedIn Word Nerds Group dealing with this very issue. . .

    And “gage” still looks funny.

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