Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Whateverism

Nathan Bierma writes about Naomi Baron's new book, "Always On: Language in an Online and Mobile World." I've not read the book, and I doubt I will after hearing about her prescriptivistic attitude. She apparently cites the pace of our society, as well as its casualness, as being the causes of our "lowered standards." Balderdash! Her "evidence" is that advertisements have increased punctuation errors. Further, she explains why there has been an increase in typos in magazines and on the subway (I've not noticed that) here: "The issue, I suggest, is not just a devolution of proofreading skills but a quiet revolution in social attitudes toward linguistic consistency." Oh. my.

BTW, my husband and I did see a new book on Yiddish that's out. Now that looks good!

3 comments:

Shoshana said...

Balderdash indeed. I am on-line all the time, and I see everything from elegant, perfect writing to incomprehensible jibberish. There is an increase in the use of text abbreviations, which was inevitable. But the increase in misspellings, punctuation errors, and syntactic garble is a reflection of the horrible state of our public education system, not a society-wide lower of standards.

Kalleh said...

Oh, it is so good to hear from you again! I had sent you and email, and when I didn't hear back from you, I was worried. I've been missing you!

goofy said...

"The issue, I suggest, is not just a devolution of proofreading skills but a quiet revolution in social attitudes toward linguistic consistency."

It sounds like all she's saying here is that we are becoming more tolerant of orthographic variation. If that's true, it's not necessarily bad. I don't think it's true tho.