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Literacy Limps Into the Kill Zone

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  • Literacy Limps Into the Kill Zone

    http://www.wired.com/news/columns/0,...ory_page_next1

    Accurate article, in my opinion. People can't write anymore, and society is accepting it, much to its own detriment.

    So there I am, reading the author's frustrations about people being unable to use proper grammar, and the guy commits a grammar error in the very sentence in which he's acknowledging poor grammar:
    Grammar skills have been eroding in this country for years and that has a lot more to do with lax instruction than it does with e-mail or instant messaging.
    The irony overwhelms me. :(
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    Darkilla: In short, NS is pretty much really fast chess. With guns. Apophis: I haven't seen anyone say that SM's are better than non-SMs. Nordbomber: This is THE first server I've seen where either side can comeback from out of seemingly nowhere with the right teamwork. en4rcment: I have NEVER experienced the type of gameplay that I have found here. Nightly I am amazed at the personalities and gaming talent. Zephyr: Apophis is clearly a highly sophisticated self-aware AI construct that runs on a highly modified toaster oven in Wyzcrak's basement.

  • #2
    Re: Literacy Limps Into the Kill Zone

    what i really, really cant stand is people who use 'net abbreiviations or leet speek, ALL the time. ugh....

    If you cant say it out loud and NOT sound like a complete @$$hole, then dont say it at all

    poor grammar is just a byproduct of us spending hundreds of billions of dollars on bombing people and only a tiny fraction of that teaching people. (i know my typing is atrocious... but im in a hurry)



    "it's not the right time to be sober

    now the idiots have taken over

    spreading like a social cancer, is there an answer?

    Mensa membership conceding

    tell me why and how are all the stupid people breeding

    Watson, it's really elementary

    the industrial revolution

    has flipped the bitch on evolution

    the benevolent and wise are being thwarted, ostracized, what a bummer

    the world keeps getting dumber

    insensitivity is standard and faith is being fancied over reason

    darwin's rollin over in his coffin

    the fittest are surviving much less often

    now everything seems to be reversing, and it's worsening

    someone plopped a steamer in the gene pool, now angry mob mentality is no longer the

    exception, its the rule.

    And im startin to feel a lot like charlton heston,stranded on a primate planet,ape and orangutans

    who ran it to the ground, with generals and the armies that obey them.

    Followers following fables, philosophies that enable them to rule, without regard.

    Theres no point for democracy when ignorance is celebrated, political scientists get the same one vote as some Arkansas inbred.

    Majority rule, don't work in mental institutions.

    Sometimes the smallest softest voice carries the grand biggest solutions

    what are we left with?

    a nation of god-fearing pregnant nationalists

    who feel it's their duty to populate the homeland

    pass on traditions

    how to get ahead religions

    And prosperity via simpleton culture. --- Fat Mike NOFX"

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    • #3
      Re: Literacy Limps Into the Kill Zone

      Originally posted by Wyzcrak
      So there I am, reading the author's frustrations about people being unable to use proper grammar, and the guy commits a grammar error in the very sentence in which he's acknowledging poor grammar:
      Grammar skills have been eroding in this country for years and that has a lot more to do with lax instruction than it does with e-mail or instant messaging.
      The irony overwhelms me. :(
      OK, I give up... What's the error? All I can think of is a comma between "years" and "and", but that would be one of those optional commas, so that's not it...
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      • #4
        Re: Literacy Limps Into the Kill Zone

        My theory is not that more people are stupider, it's that more stupider people are trying to communicate.

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        • #5
          Re: Literacy Limps Into the Kill Zone

          Originally posted by bootstrap
          My theory is not that more people are stupider, it's that more stupider people are trying to communicate.
          I sometimes consider this theory, but I work with a bunch of people that have 4 year degrees and a significant percentage of them are unable to write effectively, much less perfectly. I think people are getting stupider. And I blame television.
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          • #6
            Re: Literacy Limps Into the Kill Zone

            Originally posted by CingularDuality
            OK, I give up... What's the error? All I can think of is a comma between "years" and "and", but that would be one of those optional commas, so that's not it...
            Either that, or change "a lot" to "much".

            Also, while a 4-year degree isn't exactly "nothing", it's not much more than that, either. If you can graduate highschool and have (or can acquire) $20-30k to blow, you can get a college degree. I work at a large university, and I'm sure some of the students I see here have little machines inside their watches that shock them every few seconds as a reminder to breathe.
            [squadl]
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            • #7
              Re: Literacy Limps Into the Kill Zone

              Originally posted by CingularDuality
              OK, I give up... What's the error? All I can think of is a comma between "years" and "and", but that would be one of those optional commas, so that's not it...
              I can't make the argument for that comma being optional. It stands to separate two complete sentences. The conjunction alone is not sufficient, especially given that sentence's length.
              Steam Community? Add me. | Free Remote, Encrypted Backup

              Darkilla: In short, NS is pretty much really fast chess. With guns. Apophis: I haven't seen anyone say that SM's are better than non-SMs. Nordbomber: This is THE first server I've seen where either side can comeback from out of seemingly nowhere with the right teamwork. en4rcment: I have NEVER experienced the type of gameplay that I have found here. Nightly I am amazed at the personalities and gaming talent. Zephyr: Apophis is clearly a highly sophisticated self-aware AI construct that runs on a highly modified toaster oven in Wyzcrak's basement.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Literacy Limps Into the Kill Zone

                First off, great title for the thread, Wyzcrak. Let's hope nobody pulls the trigger.

                Literacy in and of itself - that is the ability to read AND write - is definitely 'limping into the kill zone."

                There was one piece of this small article that caught my attention:
                Apologists will argue that language isn't static, that it's ever-changing and evolving. That's true. Language does change. Idiomatic English is the product of centuries of social and cultural infusion, a fact that gives modern-day English much of its color and flair.

                It's this cultural infusion that I think is key to what we are observing as the decline of literacy. The infusion includes not only the cross-pollination of cultures and the language mix this creates, but also the use of various information age appliances that have drastically changed the way human beings communicate. Email, chat, text messaging, blogging, even custom RSS feeds - all of these elemnents have had and will continue to have a significant effect on how individual communication skills evolve.

                As far as literacy, I would propose the same reasoning for the change that we're observing. Reading is low on the list of entertaining activities for many young citizens of industrialized countries. Television, movies and video games have replaced reading as a primary means of both news/information and entertainment. It does not surprise me in the least that we are beginning to witness the negative effects of this, as children of the 70's and 80's, many of whom spent their early teenage years raised on TV and video games, are now in the professional workplace.

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                • #9
                  Re: Literacy Limps Into the Kill Zone

                  Originally posted by Wyzcrak
                  I can't make the argument for that comma being optional. It stands to separate two complete sentences. The conjunction alone is not sufficient, especially given that sentence's length.
                  Hmmm, I was taught that a comma combined with a conjunction was optional.
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                  • #10
                    Re: Literacy Limps Into the Kill Zone

                    Originally posted by SmokingTarpan
                    Also, while a 4-year degree isn't exactly "nothing", it's not much more than that, either. If you can graduate highschool and have (or can acquire) $20-30k to blow, you can get a college degree. I work at a large university, and I'm sure some of the students I see here have little machines inside their watches that shock them every few seconds as a reminder to breathe.
                    Yeah, I don't think a piece of paper saying you went to school for a few years is any indication of learnedness, but employers still do.

                    When I win the $370 million PowerBall jackpot, I'm going to start Dave's Socratic School of Higher Learning. It'll be nothing but field trips and practical labs. Want to learn about Greece? We're flying to Greece for a week to study it. Want to learn about electronics? We're going to Radio Shack and getting the parts to build our own radio from scratch. Want to learn about STDs? OK, so perhaps some subjects are better learned from books...
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                    • #11
                      Re: Literacy Limps Into the Kill Zone

                      lol, I think the only real reason that there seems to be such a proliferation of "illiteracy" is simply the fact that information is so readily available. Anyone can see some idiots blog on the internet, read it too many times and start to adopt their mistakes. It does seem to be more prevalent in printed works as well though, it seems too many editors today are starting to let small errors slip into what used to infallible works of grammar usage. In the end, I think the only reason that illiteracy seems to be going up is because everyone has a voice with access to the internet. Unless you'd like to do whatever it is that Castro is doing to keep the illiteracy rate so low in Cuba, I think the system works fine as is, but yes, more idiots do seem able to slip through the American school system.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Literacy Limps Into the Kill Zone

                        I find it disturbing that many foreigners who live in the US have a much better comprehension of English grammar than those who speak English natively. IMO schools need to ensure that kids learn the fundamentals of grammar and spelling before they move on to the next grade level.



                        TacticalGamer TX LAN/BBQ Veteran

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                        • #13
                          Re: Literacy Limps Into the Kill Zone

                          Originally posted by CingularDuality
                          Originally posted by bootstrap
                          My theory is not that more people are stupider, it's that more stupider people are trying to communicate.
                          I sometimes consider this theory, but I work with a bunch of people that have 4 year degrees and a significant percentage of them are unable to write effectively, much less perfectly. I think people are getting stupider. And I blame television.
                          Considering that the term "stupider" is relative, I posit the following to prove the statement: More stupider people are earning college degrees.

                          1) Percentage of US population with 4+ years of college:



                          Data from www.census.gov in quick Excel format. I believe it's fair to state the the number of college degrees bears a direct relationship to the number of people with 4+ years of college.

                          2) Distribution of IQ within the population:



                          Image credit to this site.

                          IQ distribution remains constant as percentage of population with college degrees increases. Ergo, more stupider people are earning college degrees.

                          Now I submit to you, television may not be a cause, it may be an effect. :D

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                          • #14
                            Re: Literacy Limps Into the Kill Zone

                            Originally posted by bootstrap
                            IQ distribution remains constant as percentage of population with college degrees increases. Ergo, more stupider people are earning college degrees.
                            You have a degree, don't you.
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                            • #15
                              Re: Literacy Limps Into the Kill Zone

                              Originally posted by bootstrap
                              IQ distribution remains constant as percentage of population with college degrees increases. Ergo, more stupider people are earning college degrees.
                              This argument always annoys me. Education till recently was a luxury of the rich. And I say recently because only over the last 30-40 years has it become more accessible to working class people. The fact is a more prosperous population which educates itself, produces more people to go to college. Technology has refocused our thinking and teaching methods, leading some to believe we make our tests easier, although I donít think this is true either. Not that Iím too pissed about this, its just an argument that is always on the news over here. They just donít like to accept that students have done their graft and are doing well.


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