Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Yippeee For Blogs Mr. James

Do you think it's inevitable that intolerance and judgementalism accompany older age?   i'd like to think not,  but...........

I imagine we all have a vision of our future selves as adorable little granny/granddad figures radiating sweetness and light, distributing humbugs to children and wisdom to the "young'ns", sought out by our adult children in need of philosophical guidance or insight,  but.........  

........since writing the post "Grammatically Limited" i've read several articles and letters in the press commenting on the inability of the young to use the English language correctly, often written by the elder generation of our species.   

Clive James in a piece for the Guardian is particularly dismissive of those, like myself, who failed to learn the basics of grammar and have never managed to catch up.   now, i have great respect for Mr James's writing.......or should that be James' ?......and have enjoyed reading him for many years, but isn't it a mite arrogant for a man of such erudition to assume that a lack of commas, hyphens and apostrophes on the part of the messenger negates the message?   have a read of the link below and let me know what you think?

Often the blame is dumped at the feet of modern teaching methods or lack of discipline in the home or the classroom.   having endured 60's schooling where minimal carrot and maximum stick......caned hands.....slapped legs.....thrown blackboard cleaners bulls-eyeing between  the eyes.....military style barracking.....were the norm, i can't say i was taught  much except   fear.
                Definition of BARRACK
                  chiefly British:   to shout at derisively or sarcastically 

It's hard to learn when mentally cowering in a dark corner of your mind, metaphorical eyes tight shut, imaginary hands over ears, frantically trying to transform into the smallest  creature nature ever created.
Sure, there have to be rules around the written word or we would veer off in so many directions we would eventually be unable to communicate with each other, but language is fluid, it evolves with each generation, would we be able to follow a conversation spoken in the manner of Mr. Shakespeare? doubtful.   increasingly employers are seeking those with conversational foreign language skills rather than that typically taught at exam level.....the lingo as spoken by the locals. a dynamic, idiosyncratic, personal speech form.   

Finding the balance will always be a matter for debate, disagreement, but perhaps we needn't worry too much about English's bastardisation since there's very little "anglo" left.  we are a mongrel nation after all, the offspring of countless invasions and social discord.   do you really think us mere mortals realise the varied foreign roots of the words that we assume are ours?

I wonder how many imaginations have been squelched, silenced for the sake of punctuation, how many valid voices with insights deserving an airing have been dismissed for using "there" rather than "their". I say.....Hurrah for Whatsapp and social media, yippeee for blogs and Twitter, word up for rappers and hip hoppers, preach on brothers and sisters of the interwebs, make your message heard and if your elders don't like the way you write it........well that's their loss....how sad that they might miss something rather precious.    


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