” Is” and “Are” … A World of Difference

Dear Reader:

I happened to catch part of the movie National Treasure ( 2nd sequel) over the weekend and must admit enjoying it again immensely! I am all for students watching historical fiction shows because if they get interested in the subject… then we can have great discussions separating fact from fiction… but the interest is there! Very important.

One remark or line ( made by Nicholas Cage) is enticing because of its accuracy and hidden meaning. The line reads: ” Before the war ( Civil War) it was said ” The United States ARE…” (Grammatically it was spoken that way also because the individual states were thought of as a collection of diversified plots of real estate but not ” united ” .)

In the amazing Ken Burns documentary-The Civil War-one researcher continues this important change… by adding: ” After the war… it was always the United States “IS” as we say today without being self-conscious of it -And that sums up what the war accomplished.” ( obviously perceptively -but no forgetting the abolition of slavery!)

When Lincoln took his oath of office to ” preserve, protect, and defend the United States and its Constitution” – the ” United” States had already ceased to exist.

In other words… ” Before 1861 the two words ” United States” were generally used as a plural noun-commonly seen as ” The United States ARE a republic.”

After 1865- the United States became a singular noun-” The United States IS a republic.”

Lincoln was very conscious of wording during the war itself-in 1863 he wrote in the Gettysburg Address the term ” nation” 5 times ( ” to invoke a new birth of freedom”) but never mentioned the term ” union.”

At the end of the war /the Second Inaugural Address -Lincoln summed up how a controversy resulted in ” One side making war rather than letting the nation survive and the other side accepting war rather than letting it perish… so it came.”‘

So until tomorrow… This old history teacher reminds you …

Of course, if you are like me… some days I feel like writing letters and signing petitions is definitely not enough and I picture myself as a crusader riding on my valiant horse up to corral inept and bias everything politicians-So when I found this cartoon I just nodded!

Today is my favorite day -Winnie the Pooh

My nephew Lee shared with me a song he wrote after his son Rhodes was born-and now repeated with Rhea. The main thread running through the melody has to do with yesterday’s post on living life NOW!

The lyric: ” There’s never been a moment in time that wasn’t NOW! ” Amen!!!

Happiness IS!!! Finally! I ran out between raindrops and saw purple on the fence!!! My first morning glory of the season !!! Time: 11:11!

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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5 Responses to ” Is” and “Are” … A World of Difference

  1. Johnny Johnson says:

    You mentioned Ken Burns and his Documentary on the Civil War. Wasn’t everything he touched just really, really, great. Not just televised but all he wrote as well. I bought his book that you mentioned some years back now, I can’t remember the title at the moment, something that seems to happen more now than ever. But the title had sweet tea in it, that’s all I can recall. Mrs. Dingle you have that same type of ability as Ken Burns had! That’s why I see your blog not as a blog but as your writings. You are quite good at getting across meaning in depth in no more than a few paragraphs. Have you ever thought of writing a book? I believe a book authored by you would be fantastic! Oh and I loved Ben’s book! He is quite the writer too! Ben’s book being factual and inspirational all at once. I am going to read it again. I believe I will see more in it the second time, like reading the Bible, you see more in the same words when reading the same verses. I can’t thank you and Ben enough for what you both did for me! I loved every minute and every word!

    Like

  2. Rachel Edwards says:

    Thanks for the history lesson…and yes if we don’t learn from history we will repeat it…need more statesmen and not politicians…

    Like

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