Elliot: Spelling our future

BY BEAU ELLIOT | AUGUST 27, 2013 5:00 AM

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As a reminder to students that the start of school should mean all students, not just the student-athletes, should be serious about the preparation for the new season, there was a sobering tale out of Alabama recently.

Well, actually, it’s not so much sobering as kind of funny. Although, according to the Princeton Review, what this town needs are sobering tales.

(Actually, Alabama is kind of funny. And yes, Virginia, I’ve been there. More than once.)

According to Yahoo Sports (yes, I, too, read sports stories for the literary quality, not because of any rabid fascination with sports, though I’m not sure “rabid” and “fascination” belong with the one modifying the other — but then, to steal from Groucho Marx, any modifier that would accept me I wouldn’t want to belong to), Hoover High, a football powerhouse of both Alabama and the nation, was going to enter the field by running through one of those 24-foot banners before a preseason game, the sort of event that football teams deem necessary for glory.

Fine and good. Go Bucs.

All sorts of football teams run through these sorts of banners, though I note that all sorts of baseball teams don’t seem to feel the need.

The problem with the Bucs’ banner, created by the team’s cheerleaders, was that it read: “Hoover Football Cannot Be Held Responsable For Ruffling Feathers.” (The Bucs were playing against a team nicknamed the Falcons.)

You can say what you want about the importance or the unimportance of being able to spell in your (alleged) native tongue.

But, because of the damned Internet (the easy kicking boy of our times), when you misspell a word in 6-foot letters — “responsible,” for those of you still in flux about whether to become an English major — you become a laughingstock in all parts of the country not named Mississippi or Louisiana.

Or, perhaps, Kentucky.

According to several reports last week, Huffington Post’s Jason Cherkis spent a couple days in Kentucky at the State Fair with workers at Kynect, that state’s health exchange set up under the Affordable Care Act.

Or ACA, as people who insist on talking in text-speak like to call it.

Also known as “Obamacare.” Which, of course, is a term coined by conservatives opposed to the health-reform act and then seized by Obama proponents, so now almost everyone refers to it as Obamacare.

Anyway, at the Kynect (which I assume is pronounced something like “connect”) booth, as Cherkis tells it:

“A middle-aged man in a red golf shirt shuffles up to a small folding table with gold trim, in a booth adorned with a flotilla of helium balloons, where government workers at the Kentucky State Fair are hawking the virtues of Kynect, the state’s health-benefit exchange established by Obamacare.

“The man is impressed. ‘This beats Obamacare I hope.’ ”

Um, yeah.

Basically, Obamacare “beats” Obamacare.

Yep, this is the world we live in. No one can spell anymore, and everyone hates Obamacare but loves what it brings. As long as it’s not called Obamacare. Everyone hates the government but hates it when the government is gridlocked and can’t do anything. Everyone (well, not me) hates the homeless on the Ped Mall and wants them shoved to someone else’s neighborhood, freedom of assembly be damned.

And just to be clear, no one is responsable.

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