Today I attended the 2006 Texas Senate District 16 Republican Convention. Towards the end of the convention, the attendees adopted or rejected 18 resolutions that represent SD16’s recommendations to revise the Texas Republican Party Platform. These resolutions were ones that trickled up from the precinct conventions and made it past the SD16 Resolutions Committee. The resolutions that convention approve go on to the June state convention’s Resolutions Committee.
One proposed amendment was to change a sentence like this: “… address the real problems …” of something or other. (The underlined/bolded word represents a proposed addition.)
An attendee motioned to amend the proposal to change “real” to “actual.”
At that point, I got up and delivered this short speech:
Regardless of whether we use “real” or “actual,” all we are doing is excluding “unreal” or “imaginary” problems. I’m sure people already know to exclude “unreal” or “imaginary” problems. Such pedantic language doesn’t accomplish anything and doesn’t need to be in the platform.
This wouldn’t win any extemporaneous speech contests. Regardless, I got a lot of chuckles. That statement shut down the debate, and the “real” and “actual” proposals were soundly defeated.
After the convention, a lawyer asked if I have an English degree. I assured her that I am just a lowly Computer Science major.