ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Letter: Sentence in letter needs different interpretation

By Karen Terhark, Worthington In a response to Mr. Moerke's letter posted Jan. 5, "Comment about JBS workers deserves an apology," I have to say this. Mr. Moerke, please reread the fourth paragraph in the letter posted Dec. 28, 2015: "JBS, union ...

By Karen Terhark, Worthington

In a response to Mr. Moerke’s letter posted Jan. 5, “Comment about JBS workers deserves an apology,” I have to say this. Mr. Moerke, please reread the fourth paragraph in the letter posted Dec. 28, 2015: “JBS, union leaders need to do more for employees.” The letter states: “... three-fourths of JBS’s workforce are possibly illiterate,” have a limited education and may not speak or understand the English language, especially when it comes to contract wording.”
OK, now let’s put out there some definitions of a couple of key words.
Possibly: Simple definition - To say something might happen, exist or be true but is not certain; used to show shock or surprise at something; used to ask for something politely). Full definition - in a possible manner (by any possibility); by merest chance (perhaps); it is possible or imaginable (conceivably).
Illiterate: Simple definition - Not knowing how to read or write; having or showing a lack of knowledge about a particular subject; not grammatically correct. Full definition - Having little or no education; showing or marked by a lack of familiarity with the language and literature; showing or marked by a lack of “acquaintance” with the fundamentals of a particular field of knowledge.
Now, “ignorant” could have been used in place of “illiterate.” They could “possibly” be used interchangeably.
Ignorant: Simple definition - Lacking knowledge or information; resulting from or showing lack of knowledge. Full definition - destitute of knowledge or education; resulting from or showing lack of knowledge or intelligence. Unaware, uninformed.
If the fourth paragraph in the Dec. 28 letter were read carefully, it would be clear that there is not any insinuation, by John Terhark, that those three-fourths of JBS’s workforce are illiterate, just the “possibility.” That is not saying that the hardworking people are lacking any mental capabilities but “possibly” living and dealing with the above mentioned definitions. In reality, he is standing up for all the plant workers at JBS, not belittling them.
I have just recently learned that there are an estimated 11 different languages (and I am guessing even more dialects) spoken at JBS and - well - our community. At one time, when doing community research while obtaining my BSN degree, Worthington was known to have over 50 different dialects spoken in our community. It is then truly understandable the illiteracy and ignorance of all of us regarding communications with our different ethnic neighbors - also allowing for many innocent people (JBS workforce) to be manipulated, uninformed, and taken advantage of.
So, is it possible that Mr. Moerke possibly misread - ­possibly misconstrued - John Terhark’s letter and that John is ­possibly grammatically correct? I think there is a good possibility that John does not owe an apology to the hardworking people of JBS because it appears he seems to be the only one willing to stand up and speak for them and himself
Oh, and Mr. Moerke, the typo of UFCW 1160 is my error in typing, not John’s. After all, he has been part of the back bone of JBS (and others) for over 30 years. If anyone knows UFCW 1161, it is he. I just happened to hit the wrong key. For that I will apologize.

What To Read Next