Stacy McCain gives us a simple English lesson. And the lesson is on what are called “declarative sentences” and how they can be used to state facts. He even gives us three examples of “declarative sentences” and how to analyze them.
On Nov. 22, 1963, Lee Harvey Oswald assassinated President John F. Kennedy in Dallas.
On Sept. 11, 2001, nineteen Islamic radicals perpetrated the worst act of terrorism in U.S. history.
On May 27, 2011, Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) used his Twitter account to send a photo of his bulging crotch to a 21-year-old college coed from Seattle he had never met.
A little further along in the article, Stacy gives us the consequences of the statement in declarative sentence number three;
We do not need to choose between these alternatives in order to conclude that it is a worth the effort required to determine the truth or falsehood of Sentence 3. Because the consequences of either alternative are potentially enormous. Either:
CONSEQUENCE A: An influential member of Congress has been the target of a disgusting,criminal and perhaps politically motivate smear attempt, involving the illegal penetration of a government official’s private communications; or
CONSEQUENCE B: An influential member of Congress, married to a key aide to the Secretary of State, has been engaged in surreptitious sex-messaging online and, when this sordid activity was exposed, has initiated what can only be called a “cover-up attempt.”
Consequence A would result in the exposure of malevolent persons unknown, possibly supporters of the Republican Party (or not), deserving of whatever punishment the law allows, should they be convicted in a court of law pursuant to applicable statutes.
Consequence B would, so far as we know, involve no criminal penalty, although it might result in personal embarrassment to the congressman, his family, friends and political allies.
No one has yet proven that Sentence 3 is either true or false. However, several observers have concluded that relevant evidence — including Rep. Weiner’s statements to the media, and his observed previous behavior online — tends to corroborate their theory that Weiner accidentally sent as a public message on Twitter something that he actually meant to send via private Twitter direct message. However, one need not endorse any particular theory of how or why Weiner would have sent that message, in order to believe that he did indeed send it.
Me personally, I think Weiner let the wrong “head” do his thinking for him. He wouldn’t be the first and probably won’t be the last.
Stacy also has links to all the Weiner news you can handle.
Update; Some random thoughts from American Glob