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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    19,247

    All things language: Grammer, Speach, Dialeck - To No or Not to No?

    "I never made a mistake in grammar but one in my life and as soon as I done it I seen it.”
    Carl Sandburg
    It has been very difficult to arrive at a straight story from the players here.

    We have talked a lot about the grammar, the southern dialect, the lack of formal education, the possibility of learning impairments and difficulties in understanding and we have wondered if any of it might be an excuse or an explanation for the confusedness of the story or the perceived slips of the tongue, or if the different speech patterns or Misty's troubles in understanding what is being asked explain why the finest minds didn't get any sense out of Misty's interrogations.

    Personally I do believe that there are some issues with learning and certainly lack of education might make it harder for some players here to express their thoughts in a logical sequence, clarify who or what their pronouns are referring to etc. because they haven't had to practice that sort of thing at school, writing essays, giving presentations etc.

    But I don't think any of it explains why the story is so messed up. Everybody we have seen so far is capable of expressing themselves on the level required to tell the truth about what happened. It can probably be told in very simple sentences in words of two syllables or less. We have seen or heard a number of clips where Misty's speech appears to flow quite fluently when she's talking about things that are not directly related to Haleigh's disappearance. The quality of her speech didn't undermine our ability to find out what she likes and dislikes about prison food in the least, and she was quite confident in the engagement video and at the airport video.

    The dialect they're speaking is a perfectly functional instrument to tell the truth in, in the grammar they're used to. You do not need to have formal education to tell what you did last night and to confess if any of it has to do with a missing child. If they can say "I didn't do anything", "I don't know who took Haleigh," or "I seen nothing" they can say the opposite. They don't have to use any fancy words to do so. If they don't understand the question they're able to say, "Sorry, I don't understand the question, could you please repeat?"

    Some inconsistencies might possibly have been just Misty saying the same thing in three different confusing ways and other people getting the wrong end of the stick but IMO at some point that kind of thing would have been explained. Say, if she meant the same pink and tan outfit all along and just alternated between calling it pajamas/pink shirt and tan shorts/pink shirt and underwear, at some point she or her lawyer could have explained that to the police. "She called it pajamas because Haleigh used to wear it at night. The other time she called the outfit a pink shirt and tan shorts because the pj's consist of a pink top and tan bottoms. Sometimes Haleigh used the shorts as underwear when everything else was in the laundry."

    I believe the story is messed up because all or parts of it are made up. The lack of formal training in formulating coherent logical sequences of expression might exaggerate the difficulty in making up a convincing lie and presenting it convincingly, but the fundamental difficulty is that everybody is hiding something and that's why the accounts are so contradictory. You could tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth in bad grammer but you might not want to.

    What does everyone else think? If you perceive a linguistic difficulty that might explain something in these accounts can you give examples?

    "Let schoolmasters puzzle their brain, With grammar, and nonsense, and learning; Good liquor, I stoutly maintain, Gives genius a better discerning”
    Oliver Goldsmith

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    8,215
    IMHO.. She is fully capable of articulating WHO.... WHAT ..WHEN...WHERE... HOW...JMO

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    7,701
    Being uneducated formally does not make one a liar. One is brought up with language, talking to parents, siblings and friends. It would appear only a lack of human contact, such as in the case of Genie and other "feral" children, creates an inability to communicate, but is not indicative of creating lying as the primary means of communication.

    From my perspective, most every person in this case has learned an adaptive tool which kicks in the self-preservation mechanism we're all equipped with (the fight or flight instinct) and that's when we see all these lies and strange behaviors that make no sense to what is termed "higher ordered thinking". I'm not calling anyone stupid, retarded, or in any way learning disabled. I believe this has become a coping skill in order to get through their level of quality of life which brings them into contact with criminals, drugs, and otherwise illegal activity.

    When we have our small children around us, it's only a matter of time when we catch them in their first willful lie. Most lies in children are situational. Uhoh, I've done something wrong, don't ask, don't tell. A parent addresses the behavior, addresses the lying, and administers corrective behaviors (clean up the mess, fix the problem, talk about telling the truth no matter what so we can live honestly and build trust), and continue applying consistent discipline in these situations so the child learns that people make mistakes or sometimes even willfully act out, but we can address it and move on.

    I don't see any of that with the Croslin/Cummings families, generations of them. I see them all choose the angle which will protect themselves, even if that means a loved one might get in trouble for whatever. Even a simple thing is lied about because what kicks in for them (in my opinion) is a fear of being judged or second guessed (for instance, the stories about who picked up Haleigh: If Misty picked her up, it leaves Ron vulnerable to questions about why he had an unlicensed minor driving his children around. If TN picked her up, it means she has to explain why she was there that afternoon (even if it was an innocuous reason). If Ron did, he has to explain how his story about being at work by 4 could happen, given the time she gets off the bus (which was then explained that he got to work about 4:15 or so, 45 minutes before his new work time of 5 p.m.).

    The stories change because everyone needs to protect someone: Themselves. You're absolutely correct. Everyone has something to hide. The only thing that's been really hidden for this long though is Haleigh.

    Everyone sees the lies quite clearly.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    580

    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by debs View Post
    Being uneducated formally does not make one a liar. One is brought up with language, talking to parents, siblings and friends. It would appear only a lack of human contact, such as in the case of Genie and other "feral" children, creates an inability to communicate, but is not indicative of creating lying as the primary means of communication.

    From my perspective, most every person in this case has learned an adaptive tool which kicks in the self-preservation mechanism we're all equipped with (the fight or flight instinct) and that's when we see all these lies and strange behaviors that make no sense to what is termed "higher ordered thinking". I'm not calling anyone stupid, retarded, or in any way learning disabled. I believe this has become a coping skill in order to get through their level of quality of life which brings them into contact with criminals, drugs, and otherwise illegal activity.

    When we have our small children around us, it's only a matter of time when we catch them in their first willful lie. Most lies in children are situational. Uhoh, I've done something wrong, don't ask, don't tell. A parent addresses the behavior, addresses the lying, and administers corrective behaviors (clean up the mess, fix the problem, talk about telling the truth no matter what so we can live honestly and build trust), and continue applying consistent discipline in these situations so the child learns that people make mistakes or sometimes even willfully act out, but we can address it and move on.

    I don't see any of that with the Croslin/Cummings families, generations of them. I see them all choose the angle which will protect themselves, even if that means a loved one might get in trouble for whatever. Even a simple thing is lied about because what kicks in for them (in my opinion) is a fear of being judged or second guessed (for instance, the stories about who picked up Haleigh: If Misty picked her up, it leaves Ron vulnerable to questions about why he had an unlicensed minor driving his children around. If TN picked her up, it means she has to explain why she was there that afternoon (even if it was an innocuous reason). If Ron did, he has to explain how his story about being at work by 4 could happen, given the time she gets off the bus (which was then explained that he got to work about 4:15 or so, 45 minutes before his new work time of 5 p.m.).

    The stories change because everyone needs to protect someone: Themselves. You're absolutely correct. Everyone has something to hide. The only thing that's been really hidden for this long though is Haleigh.

    Everyone sees the lies quite clearly.
    Thank you for the honest input. I enjoyed reading it. Perhaps bright minds think alike ?



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