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Letters to the Editor

Nov. 19, 1997

Sportscaster column disservice

The Lariat column, 'Sportcasters need to be on their guard,' implies that the behaviors which have garnered so much media attention by some infamous people has something to do with either their profession as sportscasters, their connection to professional sports, as in Charles Barkley's case, or because these characters are famous. To attribute the events at the center of each of these situations to anything other than irresponsible behavior is to participate in the problem itself; chiefly, that all are not responsible for their behavior. The individuals referred to by Mr. Huett comprise a small percentage of all who fit the criterion of being famous or involved in professional athletics. It is a disservice to the majority to imply that somehow one's profession is responsible for the personal indescretions of a few.

Chris Ray

B.A. '90, M.Div. '99

Student word usage needs work

Yes, I know this subject has been discussed and possibly exhausted, but please humor me, I must speak my piecebefore I die. Since I have come to Baylor, I have been forced to endure my one pet peeve time and again: the usage of 'like,' 'um,' and 'you know.' Ahh! It bugs me so much. 'Um' doesn't bother so much because, granted, it has been around a long time and is simply a space-filler for those times of thought (though it is victim to the occasional over-usage). The other two, however, are my main concern. I see no logical excuse for misusing these words. Yes, I know everybody does it and it becomes ingrained into our minds every time a fellow student speaks up in class. Some professors are even to blame and even the 'smartest' people in class take part. I shall now burden you with an example. 'Um, I was just gonna say, when you read Dante closely, like, like, you might actually like, you know, actually feel the pain, you know, the pain of those sinners that are like burning eternally for their sins, you know.' I am not kidding! I am not exaggerating! This happens. I can point these people out in my classes. Now WAIT! Don't start with the hypocrisy thing. I am not immune. I admit I do it as well, but I make a conscious effort to remedy this disease. I said 'like' today in class and just about banged my head against the desk for my stupidity and conformity. (Yes, I know stupid is a strong word). Last semester, some friends and I took action. I admit to its juvenilleish-ness ahead of time, but we decided to charge a nickel everytime we misused/overused these words. We never collected, but the point was made and we had results. This helped me tremendously. Do it if you want, we hold no patent. Now, I bring this up, not to vent, but to make a point. You know it too. A friend of mine saw a girl keeping track of some guy's 'ums' during a speech once. We can fix this and improve our 'adultness.' Please, for the love of humanity, Generation X and the increasing need for intelligent conversations, do something about this 'disease.' Thank you, I can now die with a clear conscience.

Alan Utley

Class of '00

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