I hate this kind of nonsense. Stupid people will continue to be stupid;
intelligent people will continue to be intelligent. The Internet is only
dumbing down those who wish to be dumbed down, and it has not "cheapened
communication", whatever that's supposed to mean. Certainly, people can
communicate more quickly, and as a result they sometimes--perhaps even
often--rattle things off with less thought than they might invest in a
letter. But if the quantity of nonsense out there is on the rise, so too is
the quantity of good, intelligent writing. The Internet makes life easier
for the eloquent just as it does for the less intelligent, and in the long
run the quality stuff will--in fact, already does--rise to the surface. Do
you believe that there were no bad letters? That people never believed
things "worth writing" which may perhaps have been rather unimportant, in
the grand scheme of things?
Knowledge for all is not "vulgar and cheap"; it is useful, illuminating,
life-improving. Those who wish to learn will find it ever easier to do so,
while those who do not may at least have a little rub off on them.
Incidentally, I'm not trying to argue that language and a care for it is not
important; I just take issue with the notion that the Internet is somehow
"making people stupid", when it is in fact doing anything but. I hear the
argument more and more often; indeed, I just finished reading the actually
rather dull "eats, shoots and leaves" which moots the same kind of (elitist,
reactionary) idea that the Internet is some harbinger of intellectual doom.
The reality, which can be easily seen by quickly looking at some of the more
informative sites on the Internet, or by getting involved in some serious
online discussions (such as, say, some of those that take
place on this list), is that the Internet is a good thing even if it means
we need occasionally put up with a few nasty abbreviations or a little nasty
Of course, a certain subscriber (to another mailing list), who insisted on
randomly inserting apostrophe's in many of hi's word's, need's to be shot.
George Carless ... [log in to unmask]
Words are just dust in deserts of sound