Sunday, March 17, 2013

Is the written word devolving?

You know how the whale ancestor started out in the ocean, evolved into a land animal, and then took to the seas once again, becoming the whale? No? Well, look it up.

If I can't write, no one can.
Photo by Kristine Paulus via flickr

Tell me. Is this what the English language coming to? Is it devolving?

First, they tried to ban the exclamation point from all writing! It started with non-fiction, naturally. No journalist worth his salt is going to use one. But fiction? Really? The exclamation point serves a purpose, people!

I listened to the excuses. Truly I did. Your writing should show the emotion. If your writing is strong enough, you don't need to use an exclamation point. I get it. But that doesn't mean the mark isn't useful, can't be useful, and has no place in fiction!

Next they went after the semicolon. And why? Because it's misused that's why. People are putting semicolons between clauses instead of complete sentences. No one ever seems to know how to use them properly in a list. And so, well, if people can't do it right, let's just stop using them altogether and shame authors who know what they're doing and happen to like, nay, love the semicolon!

What's next? The apostrophe! This from London:
A local council in southern England has sparked a grammar war with proposals to ban the apostrophe from its street signs

Are they out of their minds? Yes. Yes, they are.

Why don't we just revert back to ancient Hebrew. Forget spaces. No need for vowels. No punctuation at all. Let's just pttltthrndhpfrthbst. You couldn't read that, could you? Of course you couldn't. No one can. Why do you think people still argue over ancient holy texts today?

Better yet, let's just go back to hieroglyphics! Picture books for everyone! Why bother with words. They're so easily misunderstood and no one knows how to use them properly.

Please don't let English be a whale.

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