Requiem to the English Language

I read an article this morning in The New York Times that saddened me greatly. It saddened me from several perspectives. Maybe not quite so much saddened on this one as astounded: the rampant pace at which inter-personal media preferences are changing. Just five years ago email was the communication vehicle de rigor. Read on and you’ll find that today it is all about NOW — instant communication, instant responses, instant blurts in the form of instant messaging and text messaging. Even phoning is way down the preferred list. What does this all mean? Great philosopher that I am, (cough cough), I wonder about the long term effects on society and culture. Such instant forms of communication don’t set pathways to careful and thoughtful ways of interaction.

My second source of great chagrin is the loss of the language. Yes, loss. In the flurry of faster, faster, faster, words are abbreviated into private forms of shorthand that are even difficult to translate among seasoned users. Everyone, so it appears, has his or her abbreviated alphabets, thereby butchering what was once a uniform and magnificant language.

And so — we lose our ability to be thoughtful and we lose our language. Sigh. So speaketh an old, curmudgeonly English teacher.