There, their, they’re.
Why did the actual Olympic events start before the opening
If you laughed at the first one, scratched your head at the
second one, don’t feel like the Lone Ranger.
The new way to maintain your “country” street cred is to
make fun, on social media, of people who use grammar correctly. You know, the
people who remembered basic English grammar, usage and spelling they learned in
If you manage to use there, their and they’re correctly,
you’re something of an elitist snob, the new party line goes.
If you can’t and didn’t pay attention to the 15-second radio
and news bite over the past week that explained why certain Winter Olympic
events would be occurring before the opening ceremonies, don’t feel alone. Most
The sound bite that appeared on and in just about every
radio and TV broadcast, as well as in nearly every online news source, explained
that scheduling by the organizers, TV network and money are the reasons that
some qualifying events happened before the actual opening ceremonies. It was a
short sound bite, to be sure, but it included the what, as well as the why — in
10 to 15 seconds, if that. Most news outlets led with it on the morning of Feb.
Nobody heard the second five seconds of that sound bite.
It’s not exactly the most accurate polling, but reactions from people on social
media to various events can serve as a fairly legit way to gauge what people are
doing, hearing, seeing and thinking.
They heard and saw the first part of the Olympics
announcement. They stopped paying attention after that first sentence.
In the last couple weeks, I was at a meeting talking about
fertilizer and what different crops need for fertilizer. The presenter was nice.
He spoke clearly and was worth following.
He spoke for about 45 minutes on how, why and when different
crops, mostly corn, take up nutrients. I was taking notes, but, frankly, it was
hard to maintain my attention after about the first 10 minutes.
Why? Not because the speaker was a bad person or unpleasant,
but he started talking about science, specifically, chemistry and the chemical
construction of different nutrients and how they react with weather conditions.
I don’t want to speak for the entire audience, made up of
mostly farmers, but from a quick glance around the room, it looked like some of
them were having some problems maintaining their focus, too. It was just tough
to keep focused on the message. It was more like a college chemistry class than
I was thinking of that when I read a friend, who works in
the livestock industry, posting on Facebook with this: “Warning: Science ahead!”
The reason that ads such as the controversial Chipotle ad
and others appeal to consumers is because they are simple and light, and they
grab someone’s attention then let it go. You don’t feel like you’re nodding off.
You don’t feel like you’re sitting in a high school or
college chemistry or biology class, being lectured to with a bunch of words you
We need to learn to do that in agriculture. Sure, we want
people to understand the technical information and the science and the
complicated parts of farming, ranching and food production.
The simple fact is — some times, many times — that
information is just too much. It always will be for today’s consumer.
We are all consumers, and we all have about the same
If we are going to poke fun at people who use they’re, their
and there correctly, if our attention span wavers from a two-sentence news bite
about the Olympic ceremonies, how can we expect our fellow consumers to act any
differently when it comes to scientific jargon about farming and food