Seriously, dude. Is English dead? Has language moved past the precision of the last 1600 years or so? And if we are at a crossroads in which well-used language is the murky path, who is to blame?
1) Text messaging
A necessary evil born from the frowns of those who were tired of teen phones ringing incessantly.
2) Twitter & Facebook
A necessary evil to reconnect with community in a ridiculously busy world.
The word that has single handedly replaced whole sentences as a form of communication.
See what I mean:
Dude. (You can’t be serious.)
dude. (I’m weary. You win. I can’t change it.)
Dude. (Pay attention you slacker.)
DUDE (This is going to be a problem.)
du-oohd. (Oh, man, is that going to be hard!)
Dude! (Quick. Come here.)
Doooo-ooo-d. (I’m am so jealous, but I have to give you props.)
I could go on. And I haven’t even started on the variations that come with facial expressions or body gestures like shrugs.
Hopefully, I’ve amused you, but my real questions are these: Can we ever recover from the inattention to grammar and punctuation? Can we ever recover from the common man’s inability to use vocabulary appropriately? (One of my favorites is the reported incident in which the Miami Herald’s story of someone “eeking out a living” wasn’t a story about the individual running a haunted house business.) Do we care? Is change the nature of a successful language? Or as we fragment our language do we lose something valuable?
My answer is: Dude, yes.
How about you? How do you feel about the state of language?