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post #1 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-05-2007, 09:55 PM Thread Starter
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The dumbening...

Was reading through an old Psych text today and I came across some studies from the late 1800's. This little paragraph left me feeling illiterate. Ugh. Hard to believe how far we've risen technically, and fallen socially. I'm guessing by the time we're able fly cars and communicate with brainwaves... we won't have anything to say.

For the record, I'd love to be able to wordsmith like this...

Here's an example:

Quote:
...fitful, irreverent, indulging at times in the grossest profanity (which was not previously his custom), manifesting but little deference for his fellows, impatient of restraint or advice when it conflicts with his desires, at times pertinaciously obstinate, yet capricious and vacillating, devising many plans of future operations, which are no sooner arranged than they are abandoned in turn for others appearing more feasible. A child in his intellectual capacity and manifestations, he has the animal passions of a strong man. Previous to his injury, although untrained in the schools, he possessed a well-balanced mind, and was looked upon by those who knew him as a shrewd, smart businessman, very energetic and persistent in executing all his plans of operation.

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post #2 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-05-2007, 10:00 PM
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post #3 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-05-2007, 10:05 PM
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post #4 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-05-2007, 10:05 PM
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Amen Brotha - I have sets of books by Charles Dickens and Winston Churchill that I read from time to time and am still to this day blown away on how folks vocabulary skills of yesteryear are so far ahead of what we know today - We are getting so advanced that the basics (an not so basic) are so easily overlooked for a quicker and easier way to do everything

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post #5 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-05-2007, 10:06 PM
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post #6 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-05-2007, 10:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bug View Post
Amen Brotha - I have sets of books by Charles Dickens and Winston Churchill that I read from time to time and am still to this day blown away on how folks vocabulary skills of yesteryear are so far ahead of what we know today - We are getting so advanced that the basics (an not so basic) are so easily overlooked for a quicker and easier way to do everything
If you look at it from an artist point of view, that's being advanced. If you look at it from strictly communicative stand point, we are more advanced, considering we can portray an idea in fewer words.
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post #7 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-05-2007, 10:11 PM
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Have you read ones of Ken's posts lately???




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post #8 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-05-2007, 10:23 PM
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If you look at it from an artist point of view, that's being advanced. If you look at it from strictly communicative stand point, we are more advanced, considering we can portray an idea in fewer words.
Point well taken but it is the shortening of such that tends to strip away the essence of what is truly being communicated - Yes we are more advanced and can do more with less but by doing so, we tend to overlook a foundation of literacy that at one time was a standard and is now rarely even referenced

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post #9 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-05-2007, 10:57 PM
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Have you read ones of Ken's posts lately???
your consequential written observations leaves me speechless, although intrigued.



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post #10 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-05-2007, 11:08 PM
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Point well taken but it is the shortening of such that tends to strip away the essence of what is truly being communicated - Yes we are more advanced and can do more with less but by doing so, we tend to overlook a foundation of literacy that at one time was a standard and is now rarely even referenced
I think we're comparing 2 different ways of communicating and lumping them into the same category.

Writing a book and speaking are 2 completely different things when it comes to communicating.

Would you want to open up a book that says: "The butler did it.. The end" ?

In text, all you have is text. In spoken form you also have body language, along with HOW something is said in addition to what actually is said. You do not have to describe with words that which people see and sense. Most of the adjectives and adverbs and place-setting stuff is gone and not needed.

People still do write like that today. You just have to get out of the *** For Dummies section.

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post #11 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-05-2007, 11:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Underdog View Post
Was reading through an old Psych text today and I came across some studies from the late 1800's. This little paragraph left me feeling illiterate. Ugh. Hard to believe how far we've risen technically, and fallen socially. I'm guessing by the time we're able fly cars and communicate with brainwaves... we won't have anything to say.

For the record, I'd love to be able to wordsmith like this...

Here's an example:
It's safe to say most Psychologists of today have literary skills on par with those that came before. You have to compare apples to apples. In the 1800s, contrary to trained professionals like the one you quoted in your post, illiteracy was common among the people.

"includes 10 used-car dealers or auto repair shops, 11 liquor stores and bars--two of which advertise lingerie fashion shows and a third billed as a "gentlemen's club"--three cut-rate motels and one trailer park. The squat, brick municipal building is next to a currency exchange and a few steps from an adult video store. The bars open at 10 a.m. and close at 6:30 a.m."

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Something must be fishy...I am going to go poke around in the back end..

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post #12 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-05-2007, 11:12 PM
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post #13 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-05-2007, 11:15 PM
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Forums are painful to read.
Unit of language to your matriarch.

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post #14 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-06-2007, 09:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Odysseys View Post
your consequential written observations leaves me speechless, although intrigued.





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post #15 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-06-2007, 09:55 AM
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Most people's cups can only hold so much. With all the crap knowledge people pick up, there will be spillage. Spelling, grammar and vocabulary are usually the first to go.

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post #16 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-06-2007, 10:10 AM
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Quote:
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your consequential written observations leaves me speechless, although intrigued.
His tendency to utter acrimonious remarks alienated his audience.

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post #17 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-06-2007, 10:17 AM
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post #18 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-06-2007, 10:18 AM
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His tendency to utter acrimonious remarks alienated his audience.



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post #19 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-06-2007, 10:43 AM
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It is like Civil War letters. These guys had a sixth grade education yet they wrote beautifully.

December 27th, 1863

Dear Father,

I have been waiting all day to get a chance to write home, but the noise and jostle has been so great I couldn't, so I waited until to night after all the boys have gone to bed, and I can write without being jostled all the time.

Well I am well and hearty and enjoying myself finely. We are having rather a hard time of it just now, it has been raining all the time for the last few days, and the camp is horribly muddy. But we make the best of it and have a merry time in our quarters. I have not been outside of the quarters but once today. I hope it will turn cold soon and freeze up hard. There is very little of interest going on in Terrahaute or in camp. The recruits we got when we were up have not yet been mustered, they probably will be tomorrow or at least sometime during next week. We will probably stay here all winter, though there is some talk of our going to Indianapolis in a few weeks, but I place no reliance on the report. Though I would not care if we did go to the Capital, we have good quarters here, every thing comfortable, but I am getting tired of Terrahaute. I wish our regiment was full, and we had orders to leave for Georgia tomorrow morning, but our regiment will hardly be organized until after the draft, it will then be filled up with drafted men. I guess that when the draft comes on, some of the Butternuts will awakin to the fact that they will be compelled to do their duty to their country.

I look at my letters home from the Gulf and it is like I was hit in the head with a hammer.


Today I watched a Dung Beetle steal my shit while I was taking a crap....

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post #20 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-06-2007, 10:50 AM
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I look at my letters home from the Gulf and it is like I was hit in the head with a hammer.


Today I watched a Dung Beetle steal my shit while I was taking a crap....
As the gaseous giver of life shone in the eastern, its rays warming all that it touched, a Scarabaeidae Deltochilum gibbosum caught my gaze. Its exoskeleton reflecting the waves of energy that beamed through the solar system and peered through the fissures of the petro-chemical enclosure where I sat. This creature was searching with instinctual intent, driven by the amino-acid sequences genetically coded into it, through my excrement which was still littered with nutrients from caloric intake 8 hours previous.


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post #21 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-06-2007, 10:53 AM
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I can see the potential for people getting more stupider-er, but also have to ask: does it just seem more apparent because we're subjected to seeing poor writing skills of more people because of the common use of forums, e-mail and text messaging?

My pops who is in his 70's and both of my brothers in their 40's all have terrible writing skills. (I'll admit my skills are nothing fantastic as I'm lazy and make a lot of mistakes.) I'll cut my dad some slack as he's not a native English speaker and was always insecure about his poor writing, but none of them ever had to write as a vocation, so I wouldn't expect them to be the most eloquent speakers or writers.

When I sit down and hand-write a note, it takes a lot of thought and time. Computers have made us kind of lazy. I mean, when you had to write a letter by cutting it in stone, you thought long and hard about what you were going to say. I think a lot of people still have that ability, and aren't necessarily more dumber-er, just more lazy.

As for that opening paragraph, I found it to be a bit tedious and overworked. You can use flowery, descriptive language, but don't bore me to death with it.

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post #22 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-06-2007, 10:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arch View Post
As the gaseous giver of life shone in the eastern, its rays warming all that it touched, a Scarabaeidae Deltochilum gibbosum caught my gaze. Its exoskeleton reflecting the waves of energy that beamed through the solar system and peered through the fissures of the petro-chemical enclosure where I sat. This creature was searching with instinctual intent, driven by the amino-acid sequences genetically coded into it, through my excrement which was still littered with nutrients from caloric intake 8 hours previous.


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I will sock ya square in your snot locker if you EVER use the term "Bron Bron" in my presence - BAHLEEDAT
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post #23 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-06-2007, 10:55 AM
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Read the book "The Mother Tongue" by Bill Bryson and you will feel better about the state of language today.
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post #24 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-06-2007, 10:57 AM
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17 years ago the bell curve sat right around the 8th grade level for written communication. Basically that was determined to be the most 'effective' level to write at for communicating. I have no idea where that bell curve sits today.

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post #25 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-06-2007, 11:01 AM
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Read the book "The Mother Tongue" by Bill Bryson and you will feel better about the state of language today.
Is that the one where he talks about language evolving and how English is the most limber of all languages?

I may have read that one at one time...but I'm terribly forgetfull.

I'd actually be smart if I remembered even half the stuff I've read!

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post #26 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-06-2007, 11:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arch View Post
17 years ago the bell curve sat right around the 8th grade level for written communication. Basically that was determined to be the most 'effective' level to write at for communicating. I have no idea where that bell curve sits today.
These days the bell curve sits at Press 1 for English.

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post #27 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-06-2007, 11:51 AM
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Quote:
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Is that the one where he talks about language evolving and how English is the most limber of all languages?

I may have read that one at one time...but I'm terribly forgetfull.

I'd actually be smart if I remembered even half the stuff I've read!
Yes that's the one. I thought it was a fabulous read, considering it's academic subject matter. He even talk about the history of the word "f*ck" and it's even more funny than the George Carlin bit where he conjugates the word.

http://www.acampbell.ukfsn.org/bookr.../r/bryson.html
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post #28 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-06-2007, 11:53 AM
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post #29 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-06-2007, 12:03 PM
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here is a retard pissing me off on another forum.

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i think [email protected] the cops [email protected] r pricks 2 bikers r the same cops [email protected] r pricks 2 every body period & more than likely beat there wife & kids also... "stunting" on a freeway while more easily visible & an easy target 4 the safetyresposibilitynazis is the very least of traffic issues considering the OVERWHELMING amount of dangerous inattentive reckless road raging car drivers... and [email protected] all fact , PERIOD



its not coherant and it takes more work to use the @ symbol that write at
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post #30 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-06-2007, 12:08 PM
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It's hip to be dumb.

The idiots have always been there, they've only recently been brought to the forefront of our culture as celebrity

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