Saturday, November 19

"With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had done more."

1) The statement in this title is often shortened to "..In hindsight"
2) Joe was an English major at Brown
Joe is the kind of person that really picks and chooses his words, and this makes sense because he was an English major. Therefore, it's important to realize what he actually meant with his statement. When you shorten the statement to just "in hindsight," it has completely different implications than "with the benefit of hindsight." For one, "in hindsight" implies previous knowledge of whatever happened and some kind of mistake in decision-making. More than that, it implies some kind of compliance with whatever happened and complacency.
"With the benefit of hindsight" implies knowledge gained after the fact -- or, pretty much the same reaction we all had to the Jerry Sandusky news. I'm not saying anything in regards to Joe's actual innocence or truth of the statement itself (although I do believe he did what he thought was right) but the way Joe phrased his statement is important. Too often in the media, this statement is shortened to "in hindsight." It's not hard to understand why the media at large would do that -- it allows Joe to have prior knowledge of what JS did and allow for a cover-up.

1 comment:

  1. actually, you are wrong on that count. That media does not shorten to "in hindsight...." The media shortens it to just simply "I wish I had done more." They skip the "in hindsight" altogether.

    Even more egregiously, they will sometimes completely change what he said altogether: "I should have done more!"

    I was in a heated discussion with someone over this. I kept having to correct that person what Joe ACTUALLY said. All I ever got in return was: "Well, it means the same thing!"

    No. It does not mean the same thing. Not by a long shot. Amazing that native English speakers will be so terrible in their own language. (Or purposely dishonest.) I had to explain to the person that Joe was an English major at Brown University before ever coming to Penn State. An English major knows the English language, and is careful about what they say and how they say it.