Sunday, January 09, 2011

stop bein stoopid, dumazzez

I hate wen I read fb posts an dey r spelt lyk dis. Makes me wanna scream 2 hav 2 read out loud jus 2 unerstan wat dey r sayin.

(I hate when I read facebook posts and they are spelled like this. Makes me want to scream to have to read out loud just to understand what they are saying.) And I think I finally have figured out why.

I read 1984 in 1994, during my senior year in high school. I'm sure I have forgotten some very important and symbol-laden parts. I remember that the guy's job was to re-write things in New-speak so as to help further the goal of shrinking the language so as to shrink thought. And also that the cigarettes all seemed to fall apart. But basically, the language thing. The theory (which I believe works to an extent) is that if people can't put their thoughts and vague concepts into words, they will eventually be unable to harbor those thoughts and vague concepts. If your only negative word is "bad", you can't really be incensed, or aggravated, or revolted, or disgusted. You can only think something is bad.

I think that the dumbing down of American youth's language, the text speak and the shrinking and condensing of thoughts into facebook status and twitter sized blips, is dumbing down America's youth. I think that when we eliminate detail and nuance in order to get entire conversations down to 140 characters, we lose our ability to appreciate detail and nuance. I believe that when we cannot spell responsibility or intelligence that we just don't use the words, and slowly the concepts evaporate as well. Not today, but check on it in a few generations. Will responsibility be the next fortnight? Will it be an antiquated term most teens can't define?

When we tolerate rampant misspellings (And why text speak now anyway? Everyone has a qwerty keyboard on their phone now!) and abbreviations, we tolerate ignorance. And when we tolerate something, we accept it and grow accustomed to it and it becomes a viable option. I don't want my daughter to grow up thinking that the incorrect is just as good as the correct, that dotter is a viable way to spell daughter, that she can learn to spell it tomarrow or tomorrow. I want her to know that intelligence is good, is better than ignorance, and that willful ignorance is the worst.

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