For new readers...

Welcome! Please do a search with the Google box to the right if you have a question and pick a name if posting a comment. Remember to come back and read the comments if you post a question. Please ask permission before republishing my work.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Literature by text message

I don't want to be one of those fuddy duddy types who laments the downfall of the English language in the age of IM and text messaging, but...

IM and text messaging are the downfall of the English language! When I read an essay with less-than-stellar spelling, I'm lenient. Most of us are guilty of relying a little too heavily on the spell checker these days. When I read an essay with grammar errors, I'm a little more annoyed. Even with today's more lenient grammar rules, there are still plenty of people who can't consistently write well formed sentences.

I can't help but wonder if tolerating poor spelling and grammar is contributing to the problem. After all, we all grew up using slang, but it wasn't tolerated when speaking to teachers and professors. We knew when to "turn it off". Maybe by allowing students to use poor grammar with us, we're sending them a subtle message that the usage is correct.

Anyway, this can't help the situation...this story comes from a subscription based website, The Chronicle of Higher Education, the newspaper for university administration and faculty.


WHERE4 R U ROMEO?
By The Chronicle of Higher Education / Wired Campus Blog

Are Cliffs Notes too detailed for you? Do texts like Paradise Lost and Wuthering Heights have too many pesky real words and not enough abbreviations? If you answered "yes" to either of those questions, Dot Mobile, a mobile-phone service for British students, has just the thing for you. The company is about to unveil a new service that condenses classic works of fiction -- by turning them into text messages. A precis of Romeo and Juliet, for example, will run just five terse sentences: FeudTween2hses--Montague&Capulet. RomeoM falls_<3w/julietc@mary> Secretly Bt R kils J's Coz%isbanished. J fakes Death. As Part of Pan2b w/R Bt_leter Bt It Nvr Reachs Him. Evry1confuzd-bothLuvrs Kil Emselves.

Oh dear.


Thursday, November 10, 2005

Stories that should make the front page





It's a little frustrating that the "good news" stories don't always make it to the front page...or even to the 10th page.

The Hook has a cute article about a UVA football player who visits one particular fan in the hospital every week (and calls him when he's on the road). What a great kid! We need to showcase more of these sorts of stories.