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This link recently saved by monkeymagic on August 07, 2011
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This link recently saved by monkeymagic on November 09, 2009
The narrative, whether oral or written, is a staple of every culture the world over. But stories demand time and concentration; the narrative does not simply transmit information, but invites the reader or listener to witness the unfolding of events.
The internet, while it communicates so much information so very effectively, does not really “do” narrative. The blog is a soap box, not a story. Facebook is a place for tell-tales perhaps, but not for telling tales. The long-form narrative still does sit easily on the screen, although the e-reader is slowly edging into the mainstream. Very few stories of more than 1,000 words achieve viral status on the internet.
...The internet is there for snacking, grazing and tasting, not for the full, six-course feast that is nourishing narrative. The consequence is an anorexic form of culture.
This link recently saved by monkeymagic on October 29, 2009
Lynch would like us all to calm down, please, and recognize that "proper" English is a recent and changeable institution. "The Lexicographer's Dilemma" recapitulates the long argument between two schools of thought: the prescriptive -- which holds that the job of language experts is to lay down the law by telling us how to speak and write -- and the descriptive, which holds that compilers of dictionaries and other guides are in the business of describing, not dictating, how the language is used. The latter group includes most professional linguists and lexicographers, but the former -- self-appointed pundits like the late William Safire and Lynne Truss, author of the bestselling rant about punctuation errors, "Eats, Shoots and Leaves" -- know that the real money lies in validating the ire of purists.
This link recently saved by monkeymagic on September 22, 2009
writing by hand obliges us to compose the phrase mentally before writing it down. Thanks to the resistance of pen and paper, it does make one slow down and think...
It's true that kids will write more and more on computers and cellphones. Nonetheless, humanity has learned to rediscover as sports and aesthetic pleasures many things that civilisation had eliminated as unnecessary.
People no longer travel on horseback but some go to a riding school; motor yachts exist but many people are as devoted to true sailing as the Phoenicians of 3,000 years ago; there are tunnels and railroads but many still enjoy walking or climbing Alpine passes; people collect stamps even in the age of email; and armies go to war with Kalashnikovs but we also hold peaceful fencing tournaments.
It would be a good thing if parents sent kids off to handwriting schools so they could take part in competitions and tournaments
This link recently saved by monkeymagic on September 20, 2009
A professor of English and linguistics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Baron seeks to provide the historical context that is often missing from debates about the way technology is transforming our lives in his new book, "A Better Pencil." His thesis is clear: Every communication advancement throughout human history, from the pencil to the typewriter to writing itself, has been met with fear, skepticism and a longing for the medium that's been displaced. Far from heralding in a "2001: Space Odyssey" dystopia, Baron believes that social networking sites, blogs and the Internet are actually making us better writers and improving our ability to reach out to our fellow man. "A Better Pencil" is both a defense of the digital revolution and a keen examination of how technology both improves and complicates our lives.