We have lost phone conversations, because talking on cell phones is no fun at all, and it’s harder than texting or typing. I do think we’ve lost that, but we’ve gained a lot with the internet. I feel like the internet has turned us all into letter writers. I think of my mother when I was a kid, she never wrote down anything but a grocery list. People didn’t write, because you’d call. Why would you write anything? But now we’re all writers.
So when people complain about grammar and punctuation, I think it isn’t that our grammar and punctuation have gotten worse, but that it used to be that only writers wrote. Only people who were in education wrote, but now we all write: we all text, we all post. I feel like we’ve lost phones but we’ve gained this whole different type of correspondence that hasn’t existed since the age of letter writing.
Also, super-importantly so I’m going to bold and all-caps it: IN THE OLD DAYS PEOPLE’S LETTERS WERE FUCKING FULL OF SPELLING AND GRAMMAR MISTAKES AND ABBREVIATIONS AND SYMBOLS AND IDOSYNCRASIES.
If you take a look at ACTUAL LETTERS especially of any but the higher (and thus more formally educated and more socially required to PERFORM that education) ranks, they read like people’s emails with more random capitals and weird spellings that make no sense because you don’t share their accent.
Nobody knows this solely because how do we ever read these letters, if we do? IN TWO PLACES: EDITED EXCERPTS IN HISTORY TEXTS, WITH CORRECTED SPELLING AND GRAMMAR, or IN NOVELS WHERE THEY WERE WRITTEN IN FAIR HAND IN THE FIRST PLACE.
The only way we encounter the letters of the past deliberately erases their unique handprint.
I am currently holding a book of the collected letters of Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Jane Burden Morris, both of whom were educated people in the arts and writing in the late 1800s. On the page I opened randomly to, I found one abbreviation of “about” as “abt”, “would” as “wd” twice, “should” as “shd”, an exclamation mark in the middle of a sentence, ‘capslock’ for emphasis, years abbreviated as “yrs.”, and multiple instances of using ridiculous
adorable nicknames, both for friends and acquaintances and for historical figures that they were discussing (in an absurd little couplet about renaissance artists, in fact). It’s casual and colloquial and familiar and completely informal. The language is dated, yes, but it’s not the stilted formal fossilized sort of prose that most people might assume victorian letters would be.
I encourage everyone to seek out the collected letters of your favorite historical figure, if they exist. It humanizes them, and really destroys the illusion that the past was some static and perfected daguerreotype portrait; that their methods of communicating were somehow better or more authentic than ours. There’s really very little difference- they just had a longer time to wait between responses (and no delete key!).(via goddamnshinyrock)
you were either a winx
or a w.i.t.c.h
this makes me feel old.
I was totally a spy
i was aLL THREE
was this the old superwholock?
THIS IS THE OLD SUPERWHOLOCK
All three heck yes!
the old superwholock? Nah these shows all have examples of POC and well written diverse woman who do not rely on men to build their character