Friday, February 04, 2005

EPA Study Accused of Predetermined Finding

from The New York Times
The Environmental Protection Agency's inspector general charged on Thursday that the agency's senior management instructed staff members to arrive at a predetermined conclusion favoring industry when they prepared a proposed rule last year to reduce the amount of mercury emitted from coal-fired power plants.

Mercury, which can damage the neurological development of fetuses and young children, has been found in increasingly high concentrations in fish in rivers and streams in the United States.


J.R. Boyd said...

Can't say as I find this surprising coming from the same agency that brought us the industry-funded CHEERS study last fall.

"Can't say as?" Is that grammatically correct?

Sheryl said...

On the inspector general report, once again I say that the inspector generals of this country are probably one of the main aspect of government saving our ass right now. I never thought I'd be thinking this, but thank God for the bureaucrats of this country. At least the ethical ones.

Regarding the grammar, why not just leave the as out and say "I can't say I find it surprising...." Nonetheless, I just asked the Mom, and she says it's not grammatical.

I can't speak for your other readers, but I enjoy when you comment on your postings, so I would certainly not quibble with your wording or take points off. ;)

J.R. Boyd said...

Yes, of course you are right about the grammar. But how I enjoy the feel of a well-placed infraction from time to time! Would your mom deny me that?

An aside: For a long time it drove me crazy to hear the word "anymore" used in any way other than a negative application--"I'm not going back there anymore," for example. But usage varies by region, and in Pennsylvania I found the positive expression having gained much wider purchase--"Dating is starting to suck anymore, dude." In other words, "anymore" required a "not" somewhere in front of it in order for my sanity to maintain its composure. Grievous was the discovery, when consulting the dictionary, a usage note explaning the wretched affair, and not to my sufficient satisfaction in the least.

A particular grievance of a friend happens to be "a whole 'nother." "It's a whole 'nother thing." One whole nother thing. This is just tragic.

Conversely, my job is a whole OTHER thing entirely. Working class English, which is not my background, and renders me a largely ineffectual speaker (which is to say self-conscious) in the climate, certainly within group dynamics, animated as they are by the body in concert with the voice. I am sure my best bet is to be myself (which you will be surprised to find in people the capacity to accept you for) but these are not always conscious choices in the heat of relating how one spent their weekend to those who have the temerity to inquire.

Sheryl said...

Wow, that was a fingerful there!

In answer to your question, my mom would never deny you the simple pleasures of life. By all means, butcher the english language. I certainly do. :)

That Pennsylvania dialect sounds interesting. We were just talking at dinner about my favorite kiwi expression. My mom was asking me to remind her how kiwis say someone is pregnant. She thought it was something like bun. The only one I know is that they say a woman is "up the duff." This is important to know because my sister-in-law is currently up the duff.

But then my ex thought I was making things up when I said that my granddad could be be described as having been "full of piss and vinegar." So I guess we have incredible expressions here in Texas as well. Is that one used in Pennsylvania?

Isn't language wonderful?!!!

Anonymous said...

i think you just spent too much time talking to people from Wastern, PA. Your grammer is almost starting to pick up the Dutchy I grew up with. yes, I just wrote Dutchy (pronounce it Doo-tchee) and it's what my mom calls the PA Dutch accent, which she speaks heavily when she's not paying attention.
next you'll be telling people to outen the lights!or misprouncing water (wha-der instead of what-er)

Sheryl said...

Gosh, you guys make me wish I could hear you talk!!! Sounds beautiful. :)

I was in a linguistics class in college complaining because someone once told me that I did not have an accent. I was indignant because I think my accent is perfectly normal for South Central Texas. And if it doesn't meet people's stereotypes of Texas accents, too bloody bad.

But what does the linguistics teacher tell me? "But you really don't have an accent. " :-(

Poppycock! It just doesn't fit people's stereotypes. When I learned to talk, I learned to talk the same way everyone else learns--by listening to people around me and doing what they were doing. If the San Antonio accent is more generic, then it's the influence of having all the military bases here, so you get more of a melting pot dialect. But it's still the San Antonio accent. I don't put on any airs or deny being a product of my culture.

Hey Ryan, post something new, eh? Blogland has been too quiet the last two days.