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Occasionally I wandered in where I was not wanted and gave truthful answers.
Sometimes I even did it deliberately. A little disruption now can prevent disaster later.

Right or Write

This is a page from the third version of Technopagan Yearnings. There are some formatting differences. Originally published at www.neowayland.com/C65989237/E20100824135810

The decline of the written language

Thinking by blogging
I'm pretty sure we're losing the written language.

Now I say this as an honest-to-gods bibliophile. I read three magazines a month and between ten and twelve books a week. That doesn't count all the articles I read online, or all the journal articles I'll be adding now that I dug Gnosis out of a dusty box.

But we are losing the language.

I know I make enough grammatical mistakes in my blogs. Part of it is because my fingers don't keep up with my brain when I am on a roll. Some of it is because I don't always think in language, particularly when it comes to passionate topics. And part of it is because I don't always remember to verbalize the connections before writing them down.

The real scary thing is that depending on the emotional intensity, I may actually "see" the correct version when I go back and proof-read. I have to do something totally unrelated and shift mental gears before proofreading again. I don't always have that kind of time.

Still, the grammar errors I see in others are increasing, particularly if people are young enough to use texting quite a bit. My cheapo phone technically supports texting, but it doesn't have a decent keyboard. I bought it as a phone, not as a texting tool.

I am not sure this is a bad thing.

The Technopagan in me is pretty sure that in a few years there will be implants connecting our brains to the network that will overlay the 'web. And it won't be long before we learn to share memories and emotional bursts.

What's the important thing, the language or the sharing? I'd say the sharing.

As the "cloud" gains in sophistication, even the origin language won't matter that much. Contextual AIs will translate from one to the other without us noticing.

The change has already begun. Public libraries are dying. It's getting harder and harder to find an independent book store. It's harder yet to find anyone who actually sits and reads. And yes, it is beginning to show.

One of the DVDs I watched this last week was Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, or technically Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief. And all through it, I wondered why the heroes were redoing the adventures of the heroes and gods who came before. And why didn't anyone notice? I'm not saying that I had a grand education, but at least knew how the Medusa was killed.

Although The Lightning Thief does get extra credit for casting Pierce Brosnan as Chiron, the teacher of heroes. Albeit an unwounded one who focused WAY too much on the military aspects of training.

So here was a film that used the classic stories as a jumping off point. Was my enjoyment of the film hampered because of that?

I've got people around me who couldn't tell you if the the proper usage is "by" or "buy." My question is, does it make a difference?

There I stumbled across the McGuffey Readers. And I remembered that until some very well meaning souls like McGuffey and Noah Webster set out to systemize the language, the rules were a lot more flexible. So obviously there are dogmas concerning language. Most of those are unstated and unwritten, ironically. Were the rules limiting the thoughts?

That is a bit of a revelation. Because why we do not always choose to think in language, the language we choose and the rules we use shape our thought.

I've talked before about how the Diné don't see the world around them linearly or even sequentially. That shapes their thoughts and means that "their" world doesn't always match Western Civilization.

By now you should be able to see the magickal implications, particularly if you've ever used chaos magick.

The language we use and the rules we choose shape our thought.

I think that might have to be one of my working assumptions from here on out.

Think about it. *grins*

Posted: Tue - August 24, 2010 at 01:58 PM

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A narrow slice of life, but now and again pondering American neopaganism, modern adult pagans & the World.

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