If I was invested with the powers of a dictator, I’d be especially ruthless in one particular way: I’d show no mercy to those guilty of crimes against language.
No, I wouldn’t be another Bryan Henderson — the Wikipedia editor who has a vendetta against the phrase “comprised of.”
The guilty, in my book, are not those who fail to bow in obeisance to the mythical gods of grammar. What I view as an inexcusable abuse of language is to regard it as nothing more than a tool of deception.
The people who specialize in this corrupt art, work in advertising, public relations, and politics, and they create things like this:
Plastic bags — fluttering down windswept streets, getting caught in branches, blocking drains, choking animals, poisoning groundwater, and colonizing oceans — might seem to have a life of their own. Apparently they are now also demanding political rights and claim they are progressive.
It turns out, however, that APBA is not an alliance of bags, but instead (predictably) it represents the transnational corporate power and interests of the plastics industry:
- Advance Polybag, Inc. – bag manufacturer
- The Dow Chemical Company – resin maker
- ExxonMobil Corporation – HDPE resin maker
- Hilex Poly Co., LLC. – bag manufacturer, co-founder
- Inteplast – bag manufacturer
- NOVA Chemicals, Inc. – polyethylene manufacturer
- Superbag Corporation – bag manufacturer
- Total Petrochemicals USA – polyethylene manufacture
- Unistar Plastics, LLC – bag manufacturer
I imagine that those came up with the name American Progressive Bag Alliance, have to drug themselves to sleep — and probably drug themselves at work, too. Either that, or through a self-administered lobotomization which cuts out principles for the sake of career, the conscience they were born with, withered away a long time ago.
If, like me, you’ve never heard of this alliance before, Bill Raden explains what they have done:
Just when Californians were getting used to the idea of living without getting free, single-use grocery bags at the supermarket checkout, Secretary of State Alex Padilla recently announced that a referendum effort aimed at rescinding the plastic bag ban signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown in September had qualified for the 2016 ballot. Pending the results of next year’s vote, the announcement effectively suspends the July 1 implementation of the measure, Senate Bill 270, which would have been the first statewide bag ban in the nation. (Citywide bans, such as those passed in Los Angeles and San Francisco, will remain in place.)
Padilla’s office says that a random sampling found that the measure’s supporters collected at least 555,236 valid signatures — more than the 504,706 needed. Ironically, Padilla had been a key force behind the passage of SB 270, when he was in the State Senate.
Californians currently use about 11 billion disposable plastic shopping bags annually with a market value that the plastic bag industry estimates at between $100 million to $150 million. Those sales will now be secure for an additional 15 months.
The effort to put the so-called “people’s veto” onto the ballot was mounted by the American Progressive Bag Alliance, the same industry consortium that bitterly fought passage of the ban.