Saturday, September 17, 2011

Can I be remarkably critical here? (Grammar gripe)

Ontario is approaching a provincial election.  We are being overloaded with advertisements, mailbox cards, and all the rest of it.

Today we got a postcard which quoted the currrent government's Special Advisor on Early Learning (scroll down, it's on the right hand side of that page):

"Full-day learning....is a remarkably critical investment in our children." 

This refers to full-day kindergarten programs, which have recently been implemented in Ontario.  No matter what you think about the usefulness or uselessness of such things, is there really such a phrase as "remarkably critical?"

Once something's critical, hasn't it already become remarkable?

"Highly critical" would make sense (although it's redundant).  Or maybe "critically important." But "remarkably critical?"  That's sort of like saying "remarkably terrible."

The more you say it, the less sense it makes.

What do you think?

4 comments:

coffeemamma said...

I think that person sounds like a politician :)

Jeanne said...

I think it's the sort of thing I say tongue-in-cheek on my blog. Hope my Jeanne-isms don't offend Your Squirrelness!!

Jennifer in MamaLand said...

OMG, don't get me started on all-day kindergarten. It's definitely a redundancy, but then, so's the whole thing. The silver lining is that I discovered a doozy of a typo in my MPP's email to me defending all-day kindergarten. So my day ends happily, after all...

Mama Squirrel said...

Coffeemamma: Well, he's working for the politicians. Is that the same thing?

Jeanne: Yes, but you and I aren't setting ourselves up as educational experts, either.

Jennifer: Thanks for the link!

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