Good grammar used to be a given that students could take for granted when they received instruction from their teachers, particularly at the college level. But today’s colleges and universities so prize exotic specialties over the innate ability to communicate that collegians may want to subject their professors to oral and written exams before plunking down hard-earned cash on courses that may prove to be of dubious value.
Take the case of Dr. Farhat Haq [pictured], who chairs the political science department at Monmouth College in Illinois. At Monmouth, Dr. Haq, who received her Ph. D. from Cornell in 1987, teaches “Modern Japan” and “History of the Middle East.”
Students with an interest in either subject might want to review the transcription of an exchange Dr. Haq had recently with author Mike Adams. The Board of Trustees may want to have a look as well.
Adams: (following applause) Thank you. Does anyone have any questions?
Haq: I would like to…say a couple of things. I am a new American which means I’ve been a citizen of this country since I was 19 years old and therefore I hold citizenship and the constitution very dear, and given that, I also like you think we need to protect the constitution… and having said that it seems to me that what you have done is really created a lot of demons out there and you have done it in a way that is….confusing. It’s not very clear… so you start by telling this story about being a lot of ….and finding that they’re only looking for…minorities or whatever, we ought to be a little more precise, in our discussions as citizens of this country….an exchange of ideas, in the marketplace of ideas I think that requires a little bit more sort of…minority faculties.
Audience member: (WHAT’S THE QUESTION?)
While we all make grammatical lapses under duress, Dr. Haq’s joust with the criminology professor from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington is amazingly ragged for a college professor who has been giving lectures for two decades.
In subsequent e-mails to the UNC-Wilmington prof, Dr. Haq demonstrates a passing acquaintance with syntax and sentence structure that, in my day, would not have pulled her through a blue book essay. Here are a few excerpts:
- “Now let’s turn to Mike Adams (sic) performance last Wednesday at Monmouth College. I want (sic) to this ‘lecture’ (which really turned out to be a stand-up comedy routine of the worst kind since the purpose was sinister and hateful) because of my affection for some of the students who had sponsored this talk and also to pay my dues to ‘viewpoint diversity.’”
- “The bad guys was (sic) anyone who was not a Republican and he brought (sic) pantheon of extreme right wing demons: the feminists, the communists, the stupid administrators who brought (sic) porn artist to campus and sanctioned the sale of ‘butt plugs’ and other sexual paraphernalia; the pedophile who raped eight years (sic) old boys, the queen of anal sex…etc., I am not making this up, all these deeply disturbing tropes made an appearance in his speech in order to leave the audience with the impression that God fearing, values holding good guys (read Republican) were in retreat.”
Dr. Haq posted her e-mail on the university bulletin board.
Malcolm A. Kline is the executive director of Accuracy in Academia.