Monday, May 04, 2009


This is a very well written - but not very well thought out - article on why SMS and Twitter are doing damage to our language(s).

Not very well thought out because language does not die except when its speakers die, and it does not "deteriorate", at least not in theory, just because it changes. True, it might not be to our liking, but hey! Shakespeare would not like our Queen's English either - and I would dearly love to hear what Chaucer would have to say about the modern "translations" of his Canterbury Tales.

Twitter has its uses - mostly pushing advertising and sharing emotional crap by mind-teenagers (regardless to their age). If it is being taken on by the masses it is because the masses were always plebians and intellectual activity is not the domain of plebians. Theirs is the domain of circuses (festivals these days), pubs and mass education. So there is nothing to worry about.

A world where everyone is a thinker with perfect command over more than 5,000 arcane words and spotless grammar is one in which no one will be an employee. This is what mass education is for - not to produce intellectuals, but to produce literate cogs in the machines, who can decipher orders but not have the mental tools to think of their meaning.

We give the world Twitter for the same reason that we do not teach them philosophy of law and science at school, that we protect them with "political correctness" from reading through the lies of advertisers and politicians, that we avoid discussing religion and politics at the table for fear they may start getting dangerous ideas. An educated mass of humanity is hellishly difficult to manage, after all.

They don't have bread? Give the Twitter. After all, it derives from the name of their mental state, right?

No comments: