>The suffocating ignorance

>Meg at Not a woman of few words had a good link to an Radio New Zealand interview with Shelley Gare. the author of Airheads (which I haven’t read, but it comes highly recommended)

It recalled Jeffrey Hart’s review of Lives of the Mind: The Use and Abuse of Intelligence from Hegel to Wodehouse, by Roger Kimball:

“In brief, the civilized seriousness of these essays made me aware of how insidiously our rancid popular culture has come to invade our common being. The throwaway-Kleenex TV programs and magazines, the junk thought, the affirmations of the unbelievable, the garish music, the suffocating ignorance, the language unrooted in lived human experience — this is the muck we swim in, and even though we despise it, some of it sticks.”

The question is, of course, to what extent this “suffocating ignorance” has always pervaded society, only recently emerging into the area of public perception.

Look at the appallingly shallow thought evident in the unmoderated comments on YouTube. GoogleVideo, MySpace and their ilk.
Look at the inability to construct a simple sentence.
Be fearful of the utter lack of understanding of the concept of punctuation.

But also look at the inability of supposedly educated, skilled and talented people to write without displaying their ignorance.
http://www.pprune.org – a forum for professional pilots – is a depressingly typical example of phonetic spelling and creative grammar and punctuation.
And don’t go anywhere near the Cabin Crew forums, if you know what’s good for you.

I got my (German) Account Team to understand the difference between “its” and “it’s” thus:
if you want to sprinkle apostrophes around, ask yourself if “it is” fits in with what you want to say.
No?
Then “its” – without an apostrophe – will do very nicely, thanks.

And they knew how to use a spell-check.

And the dodgy ones had to get their stuff proofread.

Simple stuff, but some clients place value of grammatically correct proposals.

I do.

But then again, I might be old-fashioned….

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1 Response to >The suffocating ignorance

  1. >The book is a real cracker, JB, and at the same time it scares me because the world IS dumbing down so fast and so far, and some of the things she is commenting are no laughing matters. But then I look back and I remember the disdain the older generation held towards, say, Elvis or the Beetles, and wonder if in 50 or 100 years, these are going to be the good old days when we were all more sensible!! I hope I’m long gone by then.

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