Blogs > Cliopatria > Quick Rants: Grammar and Minority History

May 5, 2004 12:09 am

Quick Rants: Grammar and Minority History

Yes, I'm grading essays: There is a place. Their belongs to them. They're doing or being something. How hard is this? People don't seem to have a problem telling her and here apart, why there and their?!?!?

And why can't people tell the 2000s from the 1940s? A reader at Instapundit suggested that American Muslims should demonstrate their patriotism by forming an Islamic Brigade, like the Japanese American 442nd Regimental Combat Team and that, until such a unit was formed, anti-Muslim hate crimes needn't be taken entirely seriously. Reynolds, to his credit, rejected that position, sort of, but ignored several important components of, well, reality.

First, the 100th Battalion and 442nd Regimental Combat Team were Japanese American units because the US Army of World War II was racially segregated; moreover, those units served in Europe because the US military establishment didn't really trust them in the fight against the Japanese (though they did use some as translators, etc.). Many of those troops were coming out of the internment camps into which all West Coast Japanese Americans were herded during the war. And those units' vaunted heroism and high decoration rate was a direct result of the racist use of those troops as vanguards (on the grounds that they were more disposable than other units, so the high casualty rate was less problematic).

Second, there are Muslims in the US military today, thousands of them. I don't know how proportional their representation is relative to the civilian population of the US, but they are there. And the US military still can't quite figure out how to use them and trust them at the same time, as the cases of Asan Akbar (Kuwait grenade attack) and James Yee (Guantanamo chaplain and solitary adulterer) demonstrate.

comments powered by Disqus

More Comments:

chris l pettit - 5/6/2004

or how about your, you're and yore

it can be frustrating...but sometimes quite amusing with the right combination of words

Anne Zook - 5/6/2004

Okay, you win. :)

Jonathan Dresner - 5/5/2004

OK, it sounds better than it reads, I admit. But when I think about their writing classes, I wonder what they're doing there.....

Anne Zook - 5/5/2004

"Their belongs to them."

I beg your pardon?

(How could I resist?)

Hugo Schwyzer - 5/5/2004

The very phrase "solitary adulterer" is delicious.

Oscar Chamberlain - 5/5/2004

This article on screening Muslim clerics in prison is interesting. I suppose there is some reason for concern, but the inability of the administration to reach out to Muslim groups for help in this is another sign of its haplessness.


History News Network