Saturday, May 18, 2013

LOL-Losing Our Literacy

     I am not in favor of abbreviations or acronyms playing a prominent role in our daily communications with each other. In fact, I despise such practices as causing the age of the great illiteracy. The dawn of the texting generation has especially been responsible for making abbreviated communications ubiquitous. For the most part I am not even in favor of contractions, I consider them tools of literary sloth.
     The danger incurred to society with the increase of abbreviated communications is that as goes our written communications so goes our cognitive abilities. One who writes in abbreviations is only training his mind to think in abbreviations. And the abbreviated mind is less capable of critical thinking and rational thought and more susceptible to being lead by emotion. This is the reason that politicians like Barack Obama are able to get elected speaking complete nonsense. To the weak and abbreviated mind, the nonsensical ramblings sound worthy and true. So when the President says "No one succeeds until we all succeed", the abbreviated mind does not grasp the full implications of that statement, it responds completely with emotion.
     A perfect example of the deterioration of the language that is a symptom of abbreviated communication is the expressions "may as well" and "for all intents and purposes", which have respectively become "misewell" and "for all intensive purposes." This combining of words has been encouraged instead of discouraged in our schools and has only accelerated with the modern age of text and email communications. I recently saw a sign in front of a school, advertising some function at the school, and it was replete with abbreviations. I would have hoped that a school, of all places in our society, would have some dedication to literacy.
     My rant is not only about preserving the language, but the effect literacy has on civility. I contend that the level of rancor and anti-social behavior rampant in our culture, in some sense can be attributed to the loss of civility that comes as a result of abbreviated communications. "Pardon me" has been transformed into "Huh", which is a digression to our ancestors who lived in caves. How can there be respect between people when they use a bastardized version of the language to communicate with each other? The mitigation of the mind in the process of human communication results in all humanity being removed from our daily interactions with each other. This regression of the species threatens to destroy the advances in the human condition which have grown symbiotically with the development of language and literacy.


  1. Replies
    1. I am an eternal optimist and never want to admit defeat. But things must begin to turn around very quickly if we are to have any hope of restoring this country to its former greatness. Thanks for the comment.

  2. I have often thought that our communication has been degraded to four letter words. It is a shame because English is a rich and beautiful language that has many expressive words that can be used to convey all emotions precisely and clearly. Glad to have read your views. I concur with you.