Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Text-Speak and the New Discourse

Djelloul Marbrook has written an interesting piece about the impact of online communication on what counts as good writing, and he offers a provocative thesis, that today's electronic writing, often a lazy mishmash of lazy and hackneyed tripe, may yet unfold into something new and transformative.

"We’ve hardly begun to explore the possibilities of hypertext or color. I can readily visualize poetics employing color and type that reshapes itself under the reader’s nose. Therefore I can visualize the reader as onlooker. And the collaboration of artist and writer in cyberspace seems almost limitless to me. Sometimes when I study cybertext I feel as if I’m in a planetarium or at the console of a spaceship. I see no reason why text should not become more agile and dynamic."

"Do I see a breakdown in language? Yes, I find much texting both exhibitionistic and inane, much as children show off and test their independence, trying to find themselves. As they mature, one hopes, they begin to value restraint and refinement. If not, they remain uncouth. I even see strains of passive aggression in much cyber communication. But I hope it will acquire couth and reserve. I hope in fact that the culture will imbue itself with the underlying knowledge that silence is the matrix into which language is poured."
Read the entire essay: Broken Syntax & the Vitality of Language

No comments: