17 May There’s an app for that?
Comms R Changing:
A friend of mine – teacher – mentioned how one of her students wrote an English essay in SMS-language. To the student, it’s just “language” – it’s how he communicates every day. Apparently he cldnt evn recognize th differenc btwn what he wrote&th basic grammar & rules we were held2, just a few yrs ago.
Spellcheck has replaced the tiring process of excavating ‘correct’ words from a dictionary& th speed & magnitude of information now travellng via satlites&cmmnicatin devices hav rendrd grammar(&spelling) superflous (which “should” be spelt superfluous, but dsnt matr since the meaning is conveyed either way.) Phew!
It makes me wonder: are we sacrificing cultural standards, heritage and purism for a cheapened, compromised global non-culture? Or are we upholding progress by replacing ‘silly’ rules with a more functional, easy-to-follow, compact global language? We can speculate and debate endlessly on a gradient between two extremes: in his book; Txtng: the Gr8 Db8 ; David Crystal apparently disproves the belief that abbrevi8d txting has a negativ effect on society, where John Humphry stands on the other side of the fence, bemoaning the wreckage of language.
What does This Change Say About Us?
My interest lies in what this change in language reveals about us. You see, art, music and language are three windows that look into the heart of a generation, and, three ways to map out our future: I recently traveled through several countries, all of whom – at some point – were under some form of Imperial reign or European influence. To the residents of Côte d’Ivoire, they were simply giving me food. To me, it was French food. Jakarta, though filled with the kind faces of true Indonesians, seems to be a smorgasbord of a Dutch, Indonesian, Chinese, Japanese businessy non-culture, and I felt deprived from something true & authentic: I couldn’t recognise what was specifically Indonesian anymore.
What Are The Implications On Me?
My inability to appreciate, contemplate and delve into the rich vocabulary of Chesterton, shows my lack of stamina. I prefer writing with an impoverished vocabulary, since I deem being heard more important than broadening my comprehension. Some of my deep, meaningful relationships have been replaced by hundreds of meaningless social networkers. Gradually, the pathways in my brain which could previously maintain concentration and critical thinking through volumes of academic literature, are being converted into flimsy txtmsges.
Several films and futuristic books have speculated on this idea of progress: Wall-e was a particularly interesting example of what might become of a world on the slippery slide of consumerism. If modern progress rids us from all obstacles necessary to form depth of character, strength of thought and personal stamina, we might collapse under the weakness of our own frailty.
I want a robust character.
I want to be someone who maintains meaningful, faithful relationships, endures hardships joyfully, and serves others with patience and humility.
The only way to do this, though, is through a continual decision towards the road less (and now, even less) traveled.
“No, there is no app for that.”
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