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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

No Respect! an essay by Jacqi

No Respect
“The English have no respect for their language, and will not teach their children to speak it.”- George Bernard Shaw.

The English language is full of beautiful words. They practically take all of your concentration to say because they have that much emotion.

Unfortunately, most words like that don’t exist in the average American’s vocabulary anymore. Suddenly, shorthand took over and there were no more long and luscious words, just short, misspelled words that can be interpreted any way instead of the specific and detailed beauty of Shakespeare’s words. Generation by generation, we’re losing our language to words that completely rewrite the rules of grammar. To teach it in schools is absurd. Formal writing is the best, and only, way to write.
With all our new technology, it’s no wonder that shorthand became a main part of teen culture. Apple practically comes out with a new product every month, which is the same as the last, except it has one new and advanced feature. Then, teens beg their parents to buy it for them, and for what? To sit around all day, playing games, going on social networking sites, and texting, plus doing all of those things while lying on a couch for multiple hours. They’re so lazy; they don’t even have the energy to type a whole word out. It doesn’t help that their phones’ keyboards are so small. It makes it easier for them to shorten words. But while they think they’re being productive, with every word they misspell, they’re ingraining that misspelled word into their brains and changing the English language as we know it.
Language, as we know it, is still completely different from what it once was. Long ago, people spoke with lots of emotion and detail. They spoke almost melodically and in a way that seemed specific to that situation, but could really mean anything. Nowadays, teens say “Was up?” Not even “How was your day?” Just two words, was and up. Where’s the beauty in that? By shortening every thing, the words lose meaning and become less important, thus deteriorating the English language.
Letting our children speak like that is one thing, but teaching that to them is preposterous. In the article, they say that as teens add new words to the English language, they remove others. That throws millions of years of work and the making of words straight into the garbage.
Shorthand, besides emoticons, is hard to translate into other languages because of the shortened words and loss of vowels. Learning it is going to make learning a different language that much more complicated and the English language is complicated enough. There are so many punctuation, grammar, and spelling rules that most people can barely keep track. The article claims, “Half of the teens surveyed said they sometimes fail to use capital letters or proper punctuation in assignments.” Teaching shorthand in schools will just promote bad grammar and blur the lines between English and shorthand. The formal way of writing will be ruined.
Why would you want to ruin the English language? We’ve built it up and it still has so much potential. Teaching shorthand in schools will make teens think that it’s okay to ignore that. Shorthand disrespects the English language and teaching it makes Shaw right.

1 comment:

  1. We love that you talk about the English language like a living, breathing thing -- to be nurtured, to take care of. :)


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