Why are our language skills getting worse over time? - Paintball Forum - Paintball guns and gear forums

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Old November 21st, 2007, 03:55 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Why are our language skills getting worse over time?

When I read letters and documents from 50 or more years ago, the writers, in general, have excellent grammar, spelling, and word usage. Much better than most people today, even with our availability of spell checks, grammar checks, and thesauruses built right into computer typing programs. Even kids and teens spoke and wrote and spoke much better than most adults do today.

My question is: Why? What causes this degradation of our language usage over time? It can't be because of popular slang, they had slang back then too. Is it because they read more? But, then again, I know people that read all the time and their verbal and writing ability still doesn't compare.

I wish I had suitable examples, but I can't really think of any off the top of my head. I'm sure some of you know what I mean though.



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Old November 21st, 2007, 10:24 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I think it's because of all of the stuff you mentioned that's built into the computers. People let the programs do the grammatical work for them and don't think; just click.At least in part.


edit: and indeed, especially online, most people just don't care. this edit being an example of how i usually type online.
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Last edited by rustyness; November 21st, 2007 at 10:38 AM..
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Old November 21st, 2007, 10:36 AM   #3 (permalink)
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well i write like crap and i dont really care about my grammer skills ,only if i am writeing something for school i take my time but other wise i speed right through it
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Old November 21st, 2007, 11:30 AM   #4 (permalink)
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well i write like crap and i dont really care about my grammer skills ,only if i am writeing something for school i take my time but other wise i speed right through it
You used a comma there. Your skills seem to be improving.
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Old November 21st, 2007, 11:46 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I dont' think my language stillk are going down, so much as my typing skills are.

however, I simply blame the media and music for the lack of good grammar and language skills.
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Old November 21st, 2007, 11:53 AM   #6 (permalink)
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i dunno lol
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Old November 21st, 2007, 11:54 AM   #7 (permalink)
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We're learning to get the basic gist of whatever we want to communicate across with fewer words, letters, characters, etc.

I for one prefer to be as explicit as possible with what I'm trying to say, which is why the majority of the time I use the best grammar and spelling I can muster. The only time I resort to e-shorthand or whatever you want to call it is when I'm texting on my phone, due to lack of a real keyboard, and on AIM I sometimes use shortcuts such as "u", "wtf", "lol", etc. etc.
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Old November 21st, 2007, 01:52 PM   #8 (permalink)
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This is an example from way further back than the 1950s, but when I read your post, Dooms, I immediately thought of an excerpt from a letter that Alexander Hamilton wrote to his brother (I have a biography on him - very interesting):

"what has become of our dear father? It is an age since I have heard from him... Perhaps alas! he is no more, and I shall not have the pleasing opportunity of contributing to render the close of his life more happy than the progress of it. My heart bleeds at the recollection of his misfortunes and embarrassments."

-Jin
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Old November 21st, 2007, 01:55 PM   #9 (permalink)
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People don't have time to write like that.
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Old November 21st, 2007, 02:12 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Old November 21st, 2007, 02:50 PM   #11 (permalink)
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the public school system is overfunded and the teachers blow asshole. period.
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Old November 21st, 2007, 02:52 PM   #12 (permalink)
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'the teachers?' Explain? All public school teachers 'blow asshole?'

I think teachers play a small role in the degradation of OUR language skills.
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Old November 21st, 2007, 03:42 PM   #13 (permalink)
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our language skills are not getting worse, our language is evolving.
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Old November 21st, 2007, 03:54 PM   #14 (permalink)
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back then people really had nothing to worry about hardley no distractions like cell phones etc. they really had nothing better to do back then so they figured that they whould just study all their life
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Old November 21st, 2007, 04:35 PM   #15 (permalink)
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that and there is no penalty now for not being able to read or write well. Back then, reading and writing held a lot more weight to it than it does now...I guess it's just that we just take for granted that we will be taught to read and write, and so we place very little pride in it. That's my musings, nothing more.
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Old November 21st, 2007, 05:03 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I used to have very good writing and grammar skills, but I went for several years where I didn't have a use for and forgot most of it. As for the degradation of todays grammar skills, I blame it on the Government and States. School systems seem to be making tests easier and easier every year for kids so more will pass the tests. I went to public school form 3rd to 6th grade, my friends little brother is doing the same stuff I was in 4-5th grade and he is in 7th. I might just be weird and a little anti Government but thats what it looks like to me.
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Old November 21st, 2007, 06:15 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I think our literacy rates have drastically been steadily improving since the US was founded. Back then the contrast was much more extreme (you either wrote well or you didn't write at all). Also the best writing was the stuff that made it into the history books.
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Old November 21st, 2007, 06:32 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I used to have very good writing and grammar skills, but I went for several years where I didn't have a use for and forgot most of it. As for the degradation of todays grammar skills, I blame it on the Government and States. School systems seem to be making tests easier and easier every year for kids so more will pass the tests. I went to public school form 3rd to 6th grade, my friends little brother is doing the same stuff I was in 4-5th grade and he is in 7th. I might just be weird and a little anti Government but thats what it looks like to me.
I agree and disagree with this statement at the same time. I agree that the national and state governments are putting too much pressure on school test scores (it's all about the funding) but as far as I have seen, the schools are teaching very differently than they did when I was in. My little sister is learning things now that I learned about three years later, but she has also skipped over some critical foundations (the basic stuff, like math and grammar). It's kinda funny, she thinks she is sooo much smarter than me...but she's still about 6 years behind.
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Old November 21st, 2007, 07:52 PM   #19 (permalink)
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What exactly does she know if she was never taught math or grammar?
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Old November 21st, 2007, 08:56 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I think our literacy rates have drastically been steadily improving since the US was founded. Back then the contrast was much more extreme (you either wrote well or you didn't write at all). Also the best writing was the stuff that made it into the history books.
Batta bing!
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Old November 21st, 2007, 09:56 PM   #21 (permalink)
 
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Or the only documents we read from eras past are the creme de la creme. We're certainly not going to keep any of Barbar's work as an example of excellent philsophical or political importance. The era's language changes and only the best is kept for future generations, a sort of filtering so they will always seem like the wiser generation and we should look back to see what they believe in. A retrolooking form of social stagnation.
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Old November 21st, 2007, 10:34 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Also, language isn't getting worse per say, it's just evolving with the times.
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Old November 22nd, 2007, 04:34 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Also the best writing was the stuff that made it into the history books.
exactly. read some michael cricton (sp?) books and tell me his huge words dont WTF you
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Old November 23rd, 2007, 04:47 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Old November 23rd, 2007, 05:04 PM   #25 (permalink)
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When I read letters and documents from 50 or more years ago, the writers, in general, have excellent grammar, spelling, and word usage. Much better than most people today, even with our availability of spell checks, grammar checks, and thesauruses built right into computer typing programs. Even kids and teens spoke and wrote and spoke much better than most adults do today.

My question is: Why? What causes this degradation of our language usage over time? It can't be because of popular slang, they had slang back then too. Is it because they read more? But, then again, I know people that read all the time and their verbal and writing ability still doesn't compare.

I wish I had suitable examples, but I can't really think of any off the top of my head. I'm sure some of you know what I mean though.
Speed, I think. Because we can communicate so much faster, I think our thinking has sped up a bit. Think of it like hyper threading or dual core on a CPU. Our world has become so complex that we force our brains to go faster, and as a result we ignore some simple rules. Ever try the thing where you read a sentence, but they scramble part of it. It doesn't matter what the order of the letters are in, as long as the first and last letters are in the right place our brains will do the work and figure out the meaning of the word.

At any rate, I know the culprit is the advancement of technology.
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