Friday, December 11, 2009

Self Loathing in Albany, NY

It’s unreal to think of the language being used today compared to that of nearly half a century ago. Instead of using the proper, modern English set forth by our forefathers and ancestors which makes this language so exquisite and unique , everyone today relies on the use of acronyms to describe what they’re doing. This decline in language, of course, cannot bury the blame on one individual writer or blogger who created the phrase LOL, OMG, or WTF, rather, the blame can be put on those who continue to use these phrases day in and day out (hence my self loathing). The people of this modern world that reeks of technology today are constantly obsessed with the demand for social networking, and in turn everybody today feels pressured to continually “update their status,” or express their feelings with an LMAO this, or LOL that. Twitter this, comment that, post here. I wonder who these “pioneers” of language were and how much they’ve made Orwell turn in his grave so far.

You see Orwell, whom in my opinion, who was one of the greatest authors of the early to mid 20th century, set forth a set of rules for the writer and the student alike. These rules, rather basic and straightforward attack the foundations of ugly, inaccurate language and suggest that if these rules are indeed followed, the mind and language alike can be used as an instrument for expressiveness. No longer will we find the need to have LOL pop into our head as our first option when reacting to something that is comical. Thus, in following these rules listed below, we CAN change our language and restore the foundation of proper English, not unapt jargon.

Here are Orwell’s six rules for when instinctual writing fails (found in his essay Politics and the English Language):

1. Never use a metaphor, simile of other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.

2. Never use a long word where a short one will do. NOT an abbreviation.

3. If it is possible to cut a word out, cut it out.

4. Never use the passive where you can use the active

5. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word or a jargon word if you can think of an English equivalent.

6. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.

Indeed these rules sound elementary; however they demand a change in attitude for the writer. They challenge the writer to use more conventional English terms, rather than relying on an acronym to suggest their feelings. Of course, one could follow all of these rules, and still write poor English, but one would not be considered a follower of this ridiculous language that is sought out to be the language of the future.

OMFG WTF are you talking about?

Think about these rules and soak them in, because eventually when you find yourself (for example) being asked to hand in a writing sample to a firm who wants to hire you, these will help. Why do you think Barack Obama was elected president of the United States, because he was qualified? No, he was elected because he comes off as a smart, simple man with good communication skills and his values in place. If you haven’t noticed by now, the present political chaos is most definitely connected with the decay of language and the inability to communicate with one another coherently. We can start to improve by focusing on the verbal end of the problem, rather than searching for the newest web cam to web chat with the enemy this week. America needs to get its shit straight before we forget how to knock on doors or introduce ourselves to a stranger; more on that later.

For now, tty-er, see you tomorrow.

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