Societal Degradation

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No lolbatIf you didn’t understand the two words in the story title, then you are an example of what I’m talking about.  They are not big words, they are not hard to understand.  I feel our society is degrading.  Yet most kids I know don’t know what those words mean and are not capable of spelling them correctly or even using them in a proper sentence.  I play online games and I have no need to hear someone actually pronounce lol {lawl} over ventrilo.  It’s bad enough to try to decipher the hieroglyphics of all these acronyms in the chat window.  How about actually laughing?  It simply frustrates me the shortcuts we make and take to sound cool.

Before I go much further, let me explain the picture.  I sincerely love Scott Kurtz, and his work with webcomics.  However, his character lolbat emphasizes everything I hate about today’s society.  Between text messaging, instant messaging, video games, we’ve created an entire sub language that completely undermines our American Language.

Every day I see new useless words make it into the dictionary.  In my youth, we constantly said “Ain’t, ain’t a word”.  Simply because the word ain’t was not in the dictionary.  It is now.  Along with “bling” and “phat” and a thousand useless other words.  Granted, I’m not perfect, I’m sure my English teacher is cursing me right now, but at least I make a serious effort to get it right.  More than most of our society does now.

It drives me insane to have to talk with my kid’s teacher and hear them speak street language.  When they have to “Ax me ’bout my child’s behavior.”.  How can I take my child’s education seriously?  I actually pay taxes for this?  If they complain that they don’t make enough money teaching, perhaps it’s due to the fact they hardly make a serious effort to truly educate our youth.  If I could afford private education, I certainly would go that route.

This has led to the work place as well.  I can’t enter a store or many fast food restaurants without seeing an employee jabbering away on their cellphone.  I remember several handbooks that said “personal phone calls are not permitted”.  They will talk street talk on the phone while ringing up my coffee and not say two words to me.  Or look at me like I’m wasting their time and say “Dat it?”.   The atmosphere certainly isn’t conveying  any kind of welcome.

And all of this is worsened by the fact that we now have computers, cellphones and all sorts of easy access to one another that makes it so our society doesn’t have to even bother to get up and go out to be social.  We sit at home, or in the car or at work, talking, texting, messaging or {ahem} blogging.  We’ve gotten lazy to, dare I say, epic proportions.  This laziness carries over into our brains and we don’t even try.  We don’t fight our schools for their poor education to our children.  We accept the new useless words in our language because “that’s what everyone is using now”.  When will the madness stop?  Will we in a hundred years have a totally new language?  Will American English become an ancient dialect we used to speak?

It constantly amazes me that I say a simple word like “facade” that I think my high school kid should already know and use.  Yet she has no idea what I just said.  She’s even in journalism.  Which leads me to think that someone who writes about things like a person who is hiding their true identity.

Well it may not make a difference to the masses in general, but I certainly try to do my part by helping my kids understand words and their definitions.  Help them with grammar and spelling.  I refuse to talk with people who won’t speak or write English properly.

However, if all else fails, you can communicate with your children using this handy translation tool.  Just don’t use it when writing me.