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The renaissance of the written word

Tahlia Palmer: Steady Eye

The renaissance of the written word

Andrew Ryan

Contemporary communication has very little to do with physical speech. Our main modes are generally based on the written word: text messaging, emails, social networking sites, chat programs etc, wheras say 20 years ago, it was all telephone and a little bit of letter writing. Post cards too. Does anyone else miss postcards? I do.

Anyway, some may say that this equals the “Renaissance” of the written word, and by most accounts, they could be forgiven for think so. We write everything, text everything, but really, this language we’re so fond of is getting RAPED.

The most obvious example is texting. Shortening words to their base parts is, I believe, a form of illiteracy. It started in text messages and chat programs, and now kids have begun to use it in their school work. Evolution of language you might say, and I can see why; English has indeed always been evolving. But this is complete de-evolution. With a decrease in complication of language must come a decrease in the brain’s ability to deal with comples systems… Not only does writing “c u l8er 2nite” make you appear dumb, it may actually MAKE you dumber. One forgets how to do things without practise. Be careful all you adults who do that shit. It’s annoying to receive as well.

I’m sure that that the majority of kids under 17 years old do most of their writing while chatting to their friends, or making stupid quizzes on facebook, a forum in which they are not going to get pulled up on their terrible grammar or spelling. They see their peers doing the same thing, writing the same way, they bring it to the classroom, and some bright-spark fucking wannabe revolutionary teacher notices the information generation doing this shit and goes “Wow. This is history. Let’s try to get the rules changed for these morons so they can include “text-speak” in their essays.” WHAT?? NO?! Anyone with half a brain should be able to see its just laziness. SURE, our fast-paced lifestyles encourage a degree of need for some time saving techniques, and SURE, the internet has opened up a whole new way of thinking about the world and humanity and communication, but there is no fucking way these kids are saying “ROFL” so as to save time while studying, or anything else that might be helping their brains grow; they’re saying “ROFL” to save time so that they can say “ROFL” in reply to 20 of their friends inane status updates before their mum yells at them again to come to the dinner table.

Speaking of facebook, social networking sites have created some almighty fuckups in the way people socialise. I say fuckups, because it really should be perceived in a negative light, despite the fact that I am the kind of person who welcomes this change (because I am a bit shy)… Friendships are now more commonly forged and even solidified by looking at each other’s photos and written information, instead of talking face to face and sharing experiences. It goes like this: you’re on facebook, checking the comments on your tagged photos, and you find a friend request from that dude you met a few weeks ago at that bar when you were trashed, and you vaguely remember you had a good conversation about something silly but still, it was kind of awesome, and you notice you’ve got 15 friends in common so you think “why not?”, click accept, write “hello, was rad to meet you –insert reference to drunk conversation here-“ and then maybe chat a little on the chat thing a few tinmes, exchange witty banter on a mutual friend’s photo comment, and then before you know it, you’re saying hello to each other at that some bar, and awkwardly talking, but majority of your interaction is made up of sending each other youtube clips of shit you both find funny. Okay, so maybe it’s not a TOTALLY negative thing. It can be great. Infact, I have a great time on facebook. BUT, it’s definitely not… uh… right? Normal? Healthy? Fuck, I don’t know. The internet could be utilised far more intelligently, I know that much.

But I have digressed completely (and am also very aware that I am not the best example of brilliant use of language, just in case you were wondering). We are writing a whole lot more these days, possibly the most in human history. So we really need to do future generations a big favour, and try to keep as many letters are possible. English can be a beautiful language. The right piece of poetry or prose can sometime change a person’s life for the better. I don’t believe that anyone will be as affected by this famous line if it is written like this: “o romeo romeo were4 r u romeo? Dni ur dad + refz his name or if u wnt b but swrn my luv + ill no lnger b a capulet.”

Case closed.