The good news is, this generation reads and writes more often than their grandparents.
The Internet and the social media has ushered in an era of large information consumption. People today consume them mostly by reading.
The bad news is, today’s reading materials pale in comparison with the literature of the past.
The modern society’s epidemic of short attention span has given way to easy-to-read materials. Which may be good to please the world’s need for instant gratification. Unfortunately, these easy reads lack the soaring prose of Wuthering Heights or Moby Dick.
But who cares? The young readers today may not even have heard of those titles. Some may think Wuthering Heights is in Ayala, Alabang, and that Moby Dick is a sex maniac.
In today’s language, sex and maniac come to mind when you use the word dick. I don’t know why, but they do.
Anyway, clipped, staccato lines pepper the writings of today’s read. Hemingway would be proud. But bewildering abbreviations and intolerable misspellings that clutter today’s messages would stump him.
Yes, people now write as much as they read but, hey, what are they reading and how are they writing?
The way they compose emoticon- and smiley-studded messages alarms me. I fear it’s just a matter of time until we go back to writing Egyptian hieroglyphics.
To show you how absurd some misspellings have become, here’s a text message I received ages ago. It’s from a prospective client. I think he is inquiring about my magic show, but I could not tell for sure. The spelling is so far out of the world I spent hours trying to decipher it without success.
The message says, “Mg.kano b mgbyad mg syo2rbus”.
Spending a long time staring at my cell phone to understand the message pissed me off. I was so pissed I wanted to pee my pants.