THE END OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION

Someone who wanted to be one heartbeat away from the presidency – and who fully intends to run for the top spot directly in 2012 – wrote the following:

Arrogant&Naive2say man overpwers nature. … Earth saw clmate chnge4 ions;will cont 2 c chnges.R duty2responsbly devlop resorces4humankind/not pollute&destroy;but cant alter naturl chng

As you no doubt can guess, this message is from the Gov. Quitter's "Twitter" feed. Yes, Sarah Palin is stupid but this type of communication is all too common on Twitter (if you want to gouge your eyes out, try taking a glance at some famous athletes' Twitter posts – it's about what you'd expect, only 1000 times worse). And that is why Twitter is going to be the final nail in the coffin of whatever remains of our collective writing skills.

I have a 6 year-old cell phone. It's ancient by the standards of cell phone technology. I send text messages on a plain numeric keypad; no fancy QWERTY keyboard for me. And I never fail to take the time to write out each word and use punctuation. The marginal cost of doing so is about 20% of whatever time you'd spend writing unreadable gibberish that sounds like a hyperactive tween emailing her friends about Twilight. And for people who have newfangled phones with keyboards it can't take any additional effort at all to write like a literate English speaker. Argue all you want – there is no justification for this level of stupidity. Unless one's typing skills are 4 WPM, it simply does not take any more time to type "will continue to see changes" in place of "will cont 2 c chnges."

Look again at Palin's message. When did it become acceptable to communicate like this? What kind of idiot would make such a thing public? Maybe other public figures avoid being this blatantly retarded but it doesn't take much time in the Twitterverse to understand that "ur" is a perfectly acceptable substitute for "your," punctuation is optional and may be used at random, and numbers may substitute for words or portions thereof.

If you think this doesn't matter and I'm just being a crank, let's wait a few more years until we can see the results of long-term studies of the effects of text messaging among adolescents on their adult writing skills. We can barely write as it is, and now the world is being swept by a medium that encourages, if not openly demands, illiterate drivel as an acceptable substitute for English. I'm not the first person to point at technological developments and say "This is the harbinger of our doom! The end is nigh!" and the track record of people who so claim is not good. But the effect these new forms of communication are having on our ability to use the old ones correctly is real and significant.

Take a stand. Do your part, however small, to send the message (see what I did there?) that this kind of shit is not acceptable. Let your acquaintances know that typing something on a cell phone is not a blanket excuse to sound retarded. I don't care if you're texting, emailing, tweeting, blogging, writing a letter, or scratching an SOS into the side of a coconut shell, there. is. no. excuse. for talking like this. None. Our time is not so precious that the millisecond saved by replacing "for" with "4" can be justified. It takes just a few moments more to say something correctly than to say it incorrectly. And if something isn't worth a few seconds to say correctly I would question whether it is worth saying at all.

Be Sociable, Share!
Tags:

60 Responses to “THE END OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION”

  1. Overlady Says:

    I've got your "Grumpy Old Man" card right here! Congratulations! You are now certified to be able to tell kids to get off your lawn.

  2. jbl Says:

    Well, you have to allow twitter some of the blame for enforcing a 140 character maximum (and SMS text messaging for imposing a 160 character limit, though I have no hesitation about sending two or more in a row when I have more to say than is accommodated by one text). But basically I agree with what you have posted.

  3. Maren Says:

    Oh, we're already doomed. I had a pretty heated argument about whether it was OK to let spelling and grammar go to hell in emails with a friend's gf back in college, seven or eight years ago — in a pre-texting, pre-Twitter world. If I couldn't convince her that it was unacceptable for my professor to respond to me in all lowercase, there's no way I'll convince my 21-year-old coworker that her professor *texting* her in textspeak is horrifying.

  4. Evan Says:

    I could not agree more.

    If I can't say it using real words and correct grammar on Twitter, it merits a blog post.

    I may be even crankier than you, and I think I'm a bit younger than you (29). I won't even use "LOL" or "LMAO" in instant messaging. I only use them in speech, to be funny. Oh, and I do like the Shatner "El em. Ay oh."

  5. jon Says:

    What I really can't stand is the message itself behind the stupid, trendy, moronic misspellingisms. She's essentially saying that, since natural forces may be responsible for global changes in climate, it's not just impossible but it's downright arrogant for us to assume we could affect those natural patterns. At the same time, she's saying we must use our natural resources responsibly and in a non-destructive manner. In other words: cognitive dissonance.

    This woman cannot possibly believe her own bullshit, since there's no way in which what she says could possibly make sense.

  6. waldo Says:

    Funnily enough, Roy @ http://alicublog.blogspot.com/ is breathing similar fire. Illiteracy is a tiny symptom (probably it's more grating to a teacher) of the gross sickness of the US but it will be handy when the brownshirts make their move.
    And Sarah Palin is sooooo dumb….also.

  7. Kulkuri Says:

    "What kind of idiot would make such a thing public? Maybe other public figures avoid being this blatantly retarded."
    Being stupid is the shtick of her party. They act as dumb as possible because they think their base is even dumber!! Altho in her case, I don't think it is an act!!

  8. queenrandom Says:

    Not to mention her use of "ions" when she meant "eons". I'm pretty sure the earth did not see climate change for charged atoms.

    If such idiocy is acceptable in our leaders….may God have mercy on our souls (to borrow a phrase).

  9. John Says:

    You have to keep in mind Ed, this is also the age where congressional members sit through an important presidential speech without paying a shred of attention because they're absorbed in tweeting trashtalk about each other. They're so busy in pandering to morons for "me too!" votes that they're not even doing their jobs, let alone spelling correctly.

    It is time for a purge.

  10. juan Says:

    Case in point, this is Ashton Kutcher's "tweet" regarding the death of his one time fiance Brittany Murphy:

    "2day the world lost a little piece of sunshine. My deepest condolences go out 2 Brittany's family, her husband, & her amazing mother Sharon."

    WTF?!

  11. Nate Says:

    He was so close to doing it right. I always use proper punctuation and grammar, even in tweets and texts.

  12. Da Moose Says:

    People at my place of work are always on my case about the formality with which I speak and type. My typical response is that lazy writing or speech indicates lazy thinking. I like to demonstrate the flip side of that function so I completely agree with your sentiment, Ed.

  13. comrade x Says:

    Remember Smythe's words about the Newspeak dictionary in 1984?
    " It is a beautiful thing, the destruction of words."
    Orwell was quite concerned about the corrosive effect advances in communication technology had on English.

  14. ladiesbane Says:

    Normally I rush to join pleas for maintaining standards in English, because I tend to be a prescriptive grammarian and because our mental tools are only so sharp as their instrument of expression; but in this case, I think Ms. Palin's limited comprehension, factoids, and sniglets really are best expressed in the stunted, corkscrew patois of texting.

    I agree with queenrandom, and have no confidence that Ms. Palin knows the difference between an ion and an eon, though it would not surprise me to learn Palin is a bad speller.

    Also: I think Ms. Palin Twitters because wants to connect with the white hot cutting-edge youth of today. She's so down, y'know?

  15. Danny Says:

    "…chang4 'IONS'…"

    BWAAAAA!!

    Shows what a "6 College Degree" (especially in Idaho) gets ya.

  16. Pan Sapiens Says:

    "I'm not the first person to point at technological developments and say "This is the harbinger of our doom! The end is nigh!" and the track record of people who so claim is not good".

    That's for sure. Trending never,ever works. And you got the Left Field phenomena, as in things coming out of. So, here's my prediction. Those silly EEG helmets hooked up to computers that can interpret your brainwaves in such a way that "your mind can control things", or you communicate to one another via "mind reading".

    So, they sexy up the standard 18 year development cycle from the lab to Walmart shelf. I give it seven years before all the kids are wearing telepathy beanies. Then we'll see what happens.

  17. dbsmall Says:

    1) I believe this is pandering. Yes, Palin's dim. But I think this is her trying to seem "cool" to the kids who already use L33tspeak. It's her Clinton's saxophone.
    2) Apparently, she's been arrogant for some time. (When she represented the state of Alaska, she made many statements about the obviousness of climate change. She asserted that they knew, in Alaska, that it was occurring.)
    3) Ashton Kutcher came in at 139 of 140 characters, limited by Twitter. At first I thought, "Hey, if you really cared, maybe you'd use a service that gives you more characters than Twitter". But then it occurred to me that distribution matters as much as style, sometimes. He could reach a lot of people via twitter.

  18. Sarah Says:

    I know somebody who says a hiring manager she knows is seeing cover letters which say things like "saw your ad…want to meet…what r u offering?" (paraphrased the best I can remember it). And I'm sure others are using texting "shorthand" to this level and worse. I text, but I can't bring myself to use texting shorthand. (Just got back a grade for a research paper I wrote last week. Perfect score, and the second of two for the four I wrote for that class. The professor commented how impressed she was that I use correct spelling and grammar.)

  19. Eeyore Says:

    I commiserate with you Ed, but I also think that the advent of full keyboards with cell phones may help mitigate this phenomenon. I may be wrong, but I've already thought this type of communication developed for a couple of reasons. I am part of the generation in question and I distinctly remember two venues that seemed to support this (I'm not trying providing excuses, simply context). The first would be texting in class. The second is video games. Someone above mentioned "l33t". And while it may seem silly to people who didn't play video games before the widespread use of programs like ventrilo (or who don't play them at all), typing as little as possible really was the difference between digital life and death. Obviously it is not worth risking the degradation of the English language, but at the time I didn't think it was a big deal. But isn't that the case with every slippery slope?

  20. Eeyore Says:

    Obviously, my proofreading skills suffered, if nothing else…

  21. Jennifer Says:

    So, what are your thoughts on this article http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8392653.stm?

  22. Chuck Says:

    The formerly clinical terms "retard" and "retarded" are rife with pejorative connotation and for that reason have passed from popular discourse. (See also "imbecile," "cretin," "moron," and "idiot")

    The continued use of these terms betrays a significant level of callow ignorance in the speaker.

    I had come to expect better from this author.

  23. Keith Says:

    I find the "text speak" language much too difficult to read, and so I usually don't bother. A few years ago, I solicited my students about a lab assistant position I had available. One of my students responded with a garbled "text speak" email. In that instant, he went from someone I would have gladly hired to someone I would never trust to generate and safeguard highly technical data. I may be wrong, but in my view, how you write tells me something important about how you think, and for the job I was offering, I couldn't take the risk.

  24. Chuck's a Schmuck Says:

    Chuck, you're retarded.

  25. JKP Says:

    I still put 2 spaces between sentences. I send a lot of text messages. If what I have to say takes more than 160 characters, then I take the time to figure out how to say it on fewer words. I refuse to take vowels out of words, or use a number for a letter. If I can't fit my thought into 160 characters, then I make a damn phone call. -Sent from my iPhone

  26. jazzbumpa Says:

    Chuck – the pejoratives are denotations, not connotations, and I'm quite sure they're deliberate. Deal with it.

    Remember Palin was a sportscaster – a breed of sub-human dedicated to the hidden agenda of destroying all language and critical thinking.

    Whenever I hear a phrase like: "If I'm the Pittsburgh Steelers . . ." I want to throw my brand new bottle of Oban right through the goddamned TV set.

    So, while you're at it, get off my lawn too.

    Cheers! (or something)
    JzB the language-loving trombonist

  27. JKP Says:

    And if I end up making a typo like in that last post, I take the time to correct it.

    I meant to say '…say it IN fewer words,' not …'say it ON fewer words.'

  28. OneMadClown Says:

    I don't mean to reply on Ed's behalf, as he is far more intelligent than me and more than capable of doing so if he chooses, but…

    The formerly clinical terms "retard" and "retarded" are rife with pejorative connotation and for that reason have passed from popular discourse. (See also "imbecile," "cretin," "moron," and "idiot")

    I do know a lot of people for whom "retard" is uncomfortable to use, and has gone on their no-no list, but I still hear it used in popular discourse all the time. In the colloquial context I generally hear the word in, it refers to someone acting exceptionally stupid, not to someone with an actual disability. As for "imbecile," "cretin," "moron," and "idiot," while they may have shared origins in the same clinical terminology as "retard", these words have retained almost no connection to those origins in the modern vernacular, now living on essentially as synonyms for "stupid". I think you're confusing popular discourse with your own standards of civility.

    The continued use of these terms betrays a significant level of callow ignorance in the speaker.

    I had come to expect better from this author.

    Callow, that's a matter of opinion. But ignorant? Please. Your high-minded civility seems to be fading now, you humorless dildo (to borrow a phrase from the Sadlynaut commentariat).

    Unless of course you were just being sarcastic and I was too slow to pick up on it. In which case I apologize for being such a retard.

  29. Andrew Says:

    I adore your blog, but this time I couldn't disagree more. The point of communicating is to get your point across. If you can do it with fewer characters, great. On a mobile phone keypad, typing more words does take a lot longer. That being said, I never Twitter and rarely text, and when I write an email, I use correct grammar and spelling.

  30. Ed Says:

    Jennifer, that is one of the most misleading headlines I've ever seen. While it promises that said children are "better writers" the actual substance of the story is an opinion survey in which kids who text and blog "rate their own writing as…'good' or 'very good'…"

    I could not be less interested in these kids' self-reported writing talents. Every student who walks into my class to hand in a research paper is convinced that he or she is a goddamn wordsmith of the highest order, including (or perhaps especially) the ones who can't string five words together to save their souls.

  31. Jennifer Says:

    I totally agree that if all they used to measure writing ability was self-reporting, it's fairly worthless. I suppose I read it more charitably and thought that they had further evidence to support the claim – it was a BBC report and not the report from the organization itself.

    It seems at least plausible to me that more writing (in whatever form) would be a good thing as long as folks learn what is appropriate form for different audiences. I know that I wrote very little when I was younger (though I did a huge amount of reading) and it seems to me that kids these days do spend more time writing — even if not using the standard rules.

    We currently speak differently depending upon our audience (I hope so) and dress differently depending upon occasion. I'm thinking that more writing, regardless of style or rules followed, is better The important task is teaching folks what's appropriate under what circumstances. In the case you've cited of Palin, if adults start writing, publicly, as if this counts as good communicative skills to all, well, then all probably is lost.

  32. Loneoak Says:

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but hasn't 'retard' left clinical usage because it became non-specific as clinicians developed a much more elaborated understanding of cognitive disabilities? I for one would never pejoratively use the term 'autist' or 'Down's syndrome', but I'm comfortable using 'retard' pejoratively. As in 'Sarah Palin is the most retarded person ever elected governor of a state.' It has the same valence as 'idiot' and 'moron' because it doesn't actually refer to a group of people.

  33. Jennifer Says:

    Real quickly, here's the link to the report http://www.literacytrust.org.uk/research/writing_survey_2009.html

    And, a glance at the executive report suggests that they are looking at the correlation between using technology and the enjoyment of writing. And, I would guess, though it didn't appear to be part of the study, that enjoying writing is likely to cause someone to be interested in doing is better.

    So,(1) [all sorts of writing, even texting,---> greater enjoyment of writing] &(2) [greater enjoyment of writing ---> willingness to work more on writing] & (3) [willingness to work harder on writing ----> better writing} then (4) {all sorts of writing, even testing ----> better writing]

    Not sure I buy (2) for reasons I won't go into, but the whole argument seems to warrant some consideration.

  34. Desargues Says:

    Some of these kids may be just the guileless offspring of sub-literate morons whose unsteady grasp of English rubbed off on their innocent progeny. I am still confounded by the co-existence, in American, of three or four spellings for one and the same name. Michaela, Mikela, Mikayla. Brittany, Britney, Britni. Bethany, Bettany, Bethenie. Molly, Mollee. Halley, Hailie, Haylee. Jeanny, Jeannie, Ginny. Jennifer, Gennifer, Ginnifer.

    Either these are cretinous parents who couldn't master the basics of spelling (or maybe just lazy? A lazy moron is not unheard of). Or they're narcissistic fucks who think the fruit of their loins is too good to be given a conventionally-spelled name. Either way, fuck them. But I can see why their children would be so unfamiliar with English.

    The schools they went to probably didn't help, either. Not just because they may have been underfunded, but also on account of some of their teachers being sub-par users of English. This is a story I may have recounted already on this blog, but last winter, after I and the missus spent a few hours volunteering at a local underprivileged school in Baltimore, we got a letter of thanks for the school's principal. It had no less than four egregious mistakes — and she was the principal, for god's sake.

    As to the Elk Pie Lady's charge of arrogance, it's not entirely unexpected, coming from a supposed Christian. We tend to forget, but for most of its history this cult has vehemently objected to reason's attempts to untangle the secrets of the natural world — on the supposed ground that it's sinfully proud of us to presume we could uncover god's alleged secrets. The poor dimwit really just repeats what many of them have said for centuries.

  35. Desargues Says:

    Correction: the letter was from the school's principal.

    Chuck: it seems undeniable that there are cretins, morons, idiots, and imbeciles. Are you objecting to the claim that they exist at all? Or just to the terms we use to refer to them? If the latter, on what grounds?

    It seems reasonable that we should stop using morally-charged terms to address mentally-undeveloped persons innocent of, and unable to redress, their condition. Somebody born retarded has no responsibility for their condition, and little hope of improving it; using laden language to ostracize them even further is reprehensible.

    But there are willful morons, deliberate idiots, and cretins who seek to exalt their stupidity as a virtue. Are you suggesting we should still refer to them by means of euphemisms? That seems morally lax to me. You encourage us not just to look away from failures of character, but actively sugarcoat them, and minimize their importance. I say we should call them not just morons, but fuckin' morons; not just cretins, but goddamn cretins.

  36. Comrade PhysioProf Says:

    This is reason number one thousand fucktillion why I categorically refuse to read or write on Twitter. Not gonna do it, never, ever.

    I still put 2 spaces between sentences.

    If you do this while using anything other than a typewriter or a fixed-width typeface (such as Courier), you are a fucking imbecile.

  37. Mrs. Chili Says:

    Dude; you're my hero. I teach English to high school students (all four years) and to freshmen in college, and I'm already seeing the effect that text-speak has on their writing skills (and I'm willing to bet money that we'll see that the writing skills directly impact the THINKING skills, too). What you write about here is a part of my every day life, and I'm standing right beside you saying that there's no excuse. None. Ever.

  38. EC Says:

    applaws)

  39. Charles Says:

    I still put 2 spaces between sentences.

    If you do this while using anything other than a typewriter or a fixed-width typeface (such as Courier), you are a fucking imbecile.

    I tried explaining this to a Technical Editor once. He was actually younger than me, but he just didn't get it, and he made me add double spaces to the document. I decided then that he was, indeed, an imbecile.

    Oh, and, uh, U R KOOL!!SHIFT1

  40. ladiesbane Says:

    @Desargues: I agree with most of your posts, but not with your complaints that people who give their children unconventionally-spelled names are cretinous, lazy, narcissistic, etc. Blame the English language, for a start, and understand that standard variations (e.g. Scots "Stewart" and French "Stuart") open the door for non-standard variations. I may shudder when I see some names, but there is ironclad precedent for giving them. The tough coughs as he ploughs the dough. We must get over it.

    (Mea culpa: when I hear people use "impact" as a verb, my lip curls. Perhaps they are afraid of misspelling or misusing the verb "to affect," but I don't care. It irks me deeply.)

  41. Desargues Says:

    Ladiesbane: I see your point, but I'm reluctant to accept it. If you want to name your daughter Ashley (originally a male name, by the way, much like Tiffany, Beverly, Kimberly, etc.; funny how few Americans give their sons feminine names — except for that boy named Sue) but are unsure about how to spell it, you only need crack open a dictionary (unless you're unaware that there are such things).

  42. g Says:

    Well, I don't see anything wrong with texting in shorthand if you're trying to meet up with a friend, tell your spouse to pick up a quart of milk, or something like that.

    But if you're a public figure and you're trying to make a statement of public policy, it's already ridiculous enough that you're doing it on a Facebook page or a Tweet.

    Seriously, how much more difficult would it be for Palin to issue a press release (a one-page document) or make a statement to the press, than to type a Tweet or a Facebook post? And make it grammatically correct?

  43. Mark Says:

    I think it's important to remember that the internet has given everyone access. Everyone did not have access to publish their writings in previous ages. People read the diaries of Civil War soldiers and marvel at their writing, forgetting that for each of these we find there were many illiterate others that didn't even have a way to put their uninteresting thoughts on paper; let alone in a way that others could/would keep for the future to read.

    Comparing "txt-speak" to actual writing is like comparing an interview by Ali G to one by Charlie Rose. The good writers of the next generation will be as prevalent as any before, but will only be more difficult to find through an increasing volume of self published idiots (Mrs. Palin).

  44. thabrasher Says:

    First off I'm not a teacher or hold a masters of any sort. I am a blue collar Guy. I did grow up in a poor welfare home until age 6. Then it was silver spoons then on. I have tossed aside that part of my life so I could be with the under privileged socialites. We don't speak well or have the best education. But they have something more then any people that want to degrade life. And the way the live is to be kind and except the changes in life. Veiw the good and the bad. English is all in the form of where you are at I'm the world according to there speech. In the world of technology based phones and fast paced life's short hand texting is the new evolvement of language. Its funny how we want to change but become bitter when there is change in front of us. Evolve and move on. If its not your cup of tea then don't use it. But to bang on it as being a problem of poor ethnical behavior,laziness, illiteracy, or poor schooling. Think of how it really started. And u could be amazed. Perhaps on a riddle. As this is shown to you now it will look horrendous but it will play ur mind as do short hand texting. Linereadline. …….. a word riddle that comes out as read between the lines. Everything out there that is napping happens for a purpose in the universe. Well that's my thoughts dont want to be impeading on all u intellectual's and I probly do have bad spelling mistletoe but wht da hek its a fst pasd wrld h8 2 b oft behind.

  45. Prudence Says:

    I wholeheartedly agree. I even find it incredibly unsexy when a potential date does it.

    Now, get off my lawn. I'm going inside to listen to the wireless (my mother still calls it that!).

  46. David Says:

    Thank God somebody finally said it. I admit I'm guilty of occasional reckless abbreviation when texting, but at least I'm aware of it when I'm doing it. Besides, I only text about 3 people.

    Oh, and hell will freeze over before I, er, Tweet anything!

    Excellent post..

    David

  47. Ed Says:

    Prudence, R U asking me out?

  48. Tosh Says:

    Could it be she's becoming an over the hill, wanna be cool MILF? You know, age inappropriate clothes and a reckless adoption of college aged behavior and a desperate attempt to appeal to that age group. We understand this may be subconscious on her part, but she's always has appeared as an anglo female president Camacho.

  49. Andrew Says:

    I'm not sure I understand why double-spacing after a period is becoming a punctuation error, except in the case of using a fixed-width font. Could someone explain that to me, or provide a link that explains it? Wikipedia and Google are somewhat unclear on the matter.

  50. Andrew Says:

    To be clear, I understand the history of approximating the one-and-one-third space. But I also have been taught the one space for intra-sentence marks and two for end-of-sentence marks make each sentence appear more distinct from its neighbours, and I agree with the sentiment. Wikipedia doesn't mention this point, however. Would it just be a matter of desired effect?

  51. johnnyboy Says:

    Tosh says: "Could it be she's becoming an over the hill, wanna be cool MILF? You know, age inappropriate clothes and a reckless adoption of college aged behavior and a desperate attempt to appeal to that age group."

    No, more like she's a classic textbook example of someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder. This is typified by wearing the same clothes and hairstyle that was popular when you were young (long after they've gone out of style), being the loudest person in the room and trying to attract more attention than is normally warranted. NPDs usually have a classic meltdown before hitting 55. Tick tock, Sarah.

    As a long-time type setter (a what?) and graphic designer, I can state that classic typesetting (for almost any kind of copy put into commercial or public use) uses only one space after each sentence. Even though I normally add an additional one in my posts here and elsewhere out of habit from my junior high school typing class instructor making a daily example out of me.

    As for the use of "retarded", check this out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gM96e0yWjhI

  52. Peggy Says:

    Desargues, I taught a girl named Lynsie who is actually a really excellent writer. Same with Lilian (only one L? SCANDALOUS), Lencon (pronounced "Lincoln," "Linkin," or "Link on," whichever you prefer), and Lacie. DuShan (due shawn), Shawn, Dontae, and Ayeres (Ares) aren't very good, though. But Zach, Josh, and Katie are TERRIBLE. Cheynne, Shianne, and Shyan are all mediocre.

    Maybe before you freak out about changing spellings for people's names you should consider that while some people are interested in passing down the same names from generation to generation, other groups of people are more interested in creating new and unique names. I'm not saying that there isn't something wrong with naming someone Lemonjello, Oranjello, or Chlamydia, but it's hardly fair to then write them off as idiots based on a decision their parents made.

  53. Michael Says:

    Why does the public continue to give Sarah Palin a platform. Everytime you respond to her inane writings and retarded speeches she gains ground in the media's freak show.

    She can only thrive on attention. Ignore her. She will eventually go away.

  54. Mac Says:

    Ed?

  55. Desargues Says:

    Peggy: I absolutely had not the slightest intention to blame the poor kids for their parent's poor choice of name-spelling. Maybe I didn't make myself clear. I lay the blame entirely at their parents' door.

    As to the desire to be innovative with your child's name, parents shoudl consider a few factors:
    1 Attempts at innovation often backfire. Then the victim of their linguistic ricochet, the poor child, will have to endure a lifetime of jeers, contempt, and pity. Parents should practice innovation on themselves; when it goes bad, their children will be looked at as the offspring of dumbasses.
    2 In general, only those should try to innovate who have it on good authority that they're good at coming up with cool new ideas. I suspect someone whose best attempt is Linsie, Shianne, or Kinzie is not good at innovatin'. S/he's probably a mediocre redneck who should sit the fuck down and cease tryin' to be all innovative and shit. God has not seen fit to bestow the gift of creativeness upon their hillbilly asses. To suppose otherwise is to commit the sin of pride.

  56. Desargues Says:

    There are two spelling mistakes in the post above. I acknowledge them, and express contrition. I'm an impatient typer.

  57. Prudence Says:

    Ed, im forealz asking u out, k? Txt me bck if u r dwn. LOL!

    PS– Liz, I jest.

  58. grendelkhan Says:

    Comrade PhysioProf: If you [double-space after each sentence] while using anything other than a typewriter or a fixed-width typeface (such as Courier), you are a fucking imbecile.

    See, this bugged me at first when I was learning TeX and the TeXbook said that I had to manually specify end-of-sentence spacing or normal spacing in certain places… or that I could just disable variable after-period spacing with \frenchspacing, but on the other hand, I'm not smarter than Donald Knuth, which means that there's probably a very good reason why sentences have a little bit of extra space between them.

    I suppose, being a dorky purist about typography, that becoming a dorky purist about written English was inevitable. Damn it, I hated it ten years ago, when it was called "AIMspeak". But it's a question of attitude rather than technology; I speak in complete sentences over the instant messenger, and some folks manage to do the same for Twitter. If teachers didn't accept work written in twitspeak, perhaps it wouldn't be considered an acceptable dialect of written English.

  59. Doc Preacher Says:

    Chuck Chuck Chuck Chuck Chuckles buddy, you need to engage in a bit more popular discourse to avoid seeming socially retarded…

  60. fuzzbuzz215 Says:

    goddamn i love you. i can hear you screaming in your head as you typed this. weird? yes. still true? yep.

Leave a Reply