Wednesday, August 29, 2012

September -- Words of Glory

The Death of Composition

I hesitate to write this because it makes me sound like a grouchy, old lady, which I am becoming, but I fear that texting is killing the beauty of words.

I don't text -- or, rather, it is a rare practice for me. I have probably texted someone three or four times. That's it, and it felt awkward because I knew I was supposed to chop up words like they were in a blender and spew them into the message like pureed thoughts that might sound cool to people who can't spell anyway. However, I could not follow the rules. I spelled out everything and made complete sentences with punctuation. I couldn't even bring myself to type "thx" at the end. I wrote, "thanks." Such a word nerd.

Yes, like an old guard, I feel it's my honor to fight to save the English language and the beauty and power of words. Not chopped up, misspelled, ill-used words. No. Whole, healthy, vibrant sentences that build upon each other to create beefy, wondrous paragraphs. Capital letters where they should be and periods to end sentences. Plain and plane, bear and bare, wait and weight, effect and affect where they should be and apostrophes and commas galore. If you are a writer or a reader, how can you possibly text? How can you insert numbers for letters without wanting to flog yourself? If we don't stand up for the marvel of whole words, who will? Surely, not the teams of texters happily churning out abbreviations that resemble less and less their true Latin roots. Rng me b4 u go. How could this be considered communication?

My feeble hope is that writers and readers will hold strong and refuse to destroy their treasured baubles. They will stand back and allow the poor spellers and hate-to-readers text until their numbers grow fewer as the lovers of words stagger back to the fold, beaten into submission by their own shame and desperate for the sweet nectar of a striking sentence or breath-defying phrase.

There is nothing wrong with texting. It is communication. What is wrong is allowing it to be okay to not know the difference between fore and four, bough and bow, and peek and peak. Our language is astounding and as rich as a ten egg custard. We should never willingly and wantonly water it down to frothy broth that can sustain nothing, not even a one-word message. Thx. God help us.

Stretch yourself this September and pen a description of your favorite autumn day.

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