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Momentarily putting the content of Gov. Dayton’s State of the State speech aside, this was a pathetic display of editorial professionalism. Gov.Dayton, like all governors, should employ professional linguists as his speechwriters. Clearly, that isn’t Gov. Dayton’s priority. This paragraph is a perfect example of the unprofessionalism displayed by Gov. Dayton’s speechwriters:

Comparing the state of our state today with conditions, when I took office two years ago, we have made important progress. We have much more work still ahead of us; however, we are on the way to a better Minnesota.

You’d think that professional speechwriters wouldn’t be this sloppy with their punctuation. This is how that paragraph would’ve read had a professional proofreader (like myself) written it:

Comparing the state of our state today with conditions when I took office two years ago, we have made important progress. We have much more work still ahead of us. However, we are on the way to a better Minnesota.

Here’s another punctuationally-challenged paragraph:

Minnesota’s job growth in 2012 was the 12th best among all 50 states; and we outperformed three of our four neighbors. Iowa ranked 30th best; South Dakota was 44th.

That’s plain sloppy. Here’s how that paragraph would’ve looked had I written it:

Minnesota’s job growth in 2012 was the 12th best among all 50 states. We outperformed three of our four neighbors. Iowa ranked 30th best; South Dakota was 44th.

Finally, I would’ve hoped these writers would’ve gotten this paragraph right:

Our students’ educational attainments have improved. Math scores for all tested grades, improved by 5.3 percent from 2011 to 2012, and reading scores improved overall by 1.3 percent.

Perhaps the Dayton administration should hire a professional proofreader like myself so they don’t look like a bunch of amateurs. Here’s the correct punctuation for that paragraph:

Our students’ educational attainments have improved. Math scores for all tested grades improved by 5.3 percent from 2011 to 2012 and reading scores improved overall by 1.3 percent.

It’s impossible to take people seriously who lecture us about the need for more education funding when their major speeches are filled with punctuation errors. Had a seventh grader handed in an English paper with this many errors, they would’ve gotten a D at best.

One Response to “Gov. Dayton’s unprofessional speechwriters”

  • walter hanson says:

    Gary:

    He named only two states. Furthermore I do believe the two states that he didn’t name to get three North Dakota and Wisconsin both had better job growth.

    Since he wants to show his ideas are so much better a good speech writer would’ve pulled out comparison after comparison to show that Minnesota was doing better than Wisconsin.

    Oopps I forgot Wisconsin is doint much better than Minnesota.

    Walter Hanson
    Minneapolis, MN

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