Boys and girls who learn to read these days tend to subsist off a healthy diet of Charlotte’s Web, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and the Harry Potter series. Readers who learned to read in the fifties got Dick and Jane. These friendly characters roamed their neighborhood in search of fun and adventure, teaching children about halting manners of speech and amazingly poor sentence structure. The books were standard issue in every elementary school classroom, and the vastly overcomplicated stories generally went as follows:
SEE DICK RUN
RUN DICK RUN
But then, there was a plot twist…
DICK SEES A BALL
THE BALL IS RED
What would possibly occur?
DICK PLAYS WITH THE BALL
For younger readers, the books provided an incredibly simplistic way to follow plotlines as they learned about Jane’s doll. Jane’s new doll. Jane’s new pretty doll. As one might expect, it did inestimable damage to the grammar capabilities of these children, who learned only to speak with a consistent degree of redundancy. Most of them can now be found in advertising, but a few have made it as television pundits and politicians. If you keep hearing the same generic talking points repeated again and again, they person is merely reflecting what they learned in childhood.