The demise of orderly writing: signs everywhere.
One recent report, young Americans don’t write well.
In a survey, Internet language — abbreviated wds, 🙂 and txt msging — seeping into academic writing.
But above all, what really scares a lot of scholars: the impending death of the English sentence.
Librarian of Congress James Billington, for one. “I see creeping inarticulateness,” he says, and the demise of the basic component of human communication: the sentence.
This assault on the lowly — and mighty — sentence, he says, is symptomatic of a disease potentially fatal to civilization. If the sentence croaks, so will critical thought. The chronicling of history. Storytelling itself.
He has a point. The sentence itself is a story, with a beginning, a middle and an end. Something happens in a sentence. Without subjects, there are no heroes or villains. Without verbs, there is no action. Without objects, nothing is moved, changed, destroyed or created.
Plus, simple sentences clarify complex situations. (“Jesus wept.”)