Monday, August 29, 2011

Buzz Topic (Round 2): The Digital Age's Effect on Grammar

Continuing with the theme from my post "Is Texting Making People Dumber?" I'd like to direct your attention to a few other articles that have to do with language, the digital age, and the future.

Mike Periman wrote a delightfully humorous piece on the digital age's slaying of grammar (emphasis added):
[T]exting catastrophe alludes to the notion that we are retrogressing to a grunt-and-sign-driven linguistic syntax, characteristic of the earliest homo erectus exchanges. The digital age delights in the fancies of brain cell replacements referred to as “emoticons” or “smilies” in order to automatically replace an adjective or adverb with a pixilated face contorted into a corresponding “emotion.” Couple smilies with modern, grammatically incorrect text, and we are ultimately communicating like digital cavemen. 
In closing, I fear for the upcoming generations of online and wireless communicators. If you lose your grasp on grammar and the quest to further your intelligence, you will remain treading water in a sea of oblivion for the rest of your lives.
You are the future, young Padawans—don’t fill it with stupidity. 
In his article "Language Don't Mean Nothin' No More," Andrew Nemethy takes the degradation of language a step further and warns that if things continue as they are, we are headed for an Orwellian nightmare of a future:
[W]e have devolved into an utterancy of gibberish. I conceive an utterancy as a sort of fiefdom or failed state – of mind – of the deviously verbally lost.
Orwell drew a line tying misuse of language to misuse in society, education and politics, arguing when language loses meaning, it allows, indeed enables, mundane and pervasive deception.
In other words, people—language and grammar matter if you don't want to devolve into cavemen and serfs!

Want in on the debate? Leave a comment below or take my poll!

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