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'Literary' texts no more?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
http://www.cnn.com/2005/EDUCATION/11....ap/index.html

As an English major in college, and a lover of literature I can only put my reaction to this in one way....


post #2 of 20
indeed!
post #3 of 20
I saw that article and thought same. Don't worry, Heidi. We won't ever let TCS go 'txt spk' on you.
post #4 of 20
How very bizzare......

More and more i feel that us as humans with our sick dependancy on machines is going to lead to the end of humanity and the begining of a machine age.....but thats just me
post #5 of 20
That's just insane.
Do people have such a short attention span??

I can understand what they're saying about summarized / simplified versions of texts being used for studying... but the whole point of it is that students should create those memory aids themselves!
Plus, I'm not an English major but I doubt that learning passages by heart is what studying litterature is all about...
post #6 of 20
What? They have got to be joking! If this happens, then I will have to be declared dyslexic, or is it textlexic? I cannot read those messages - I very much prefer the uncondensed english language, thank you very much!
post #7 of 20
Yes, that is indeed horrifying. How lazy are we that we can't even use proper English any longer? It really bothers me too, actually.

I agree.
post #8 of 20
I'm textlexic too, then. I got a headache reading that.
post #9 of 20
It'll never happen. It's a phase everyone goes through between the ages of 14-18 before they realize 'Oh, S$#()&, we have to know how to speak English to get a job!'.

And it's dumb.
post #10 of 20
*chokes on drink, flops on floor, nearly dies* Whaaaat??!!! I'm with what Mr. Kamm said: "What you lose with text messaging in literature is what makes literature what it is -- the imagery, the irony, the nuance." If you read the text message version, you miss the whole point! Literature is more than just a plot! They sum of one of the principal turning points of Jane Eyre with . . . mad wife sets house on fire????? Oh, great. Besides, how exactly will this help anyone in their english classes? Last I checked, professors weren't creating tests that ask you to summarize the plot (For 10 points, what does Jane Eyre leave behind on the coach? NOT.).
post #11 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lionessrampant
It'll never happen. It's a phase everyone goes through between the ages of 14-18 before they realize 'Oh, S$#()&, we have to know how to speak English to get a job!'.

And it's dumb.
I hope you're right. I'm sure you are. I'm textlexic too. I guess it's like that whole Ebonics being taught in school thing that was attempted by some a while back.

What I hate about this, besides desecrating literature in general, is that it validates this BS netspeak as acceptable. It isn't acceptable. Not in the real world. I see so many kids who can't write worth a darn, couldn't spell their way out of a paper bag, and I have to think that this crud being validated isn't going to help them actually LEARN to communicate via the written word.
post #12 of 20
As long as it serves the purpose of teaching students and for those more exam oriented ones getting good grades, I do not see the problem with it.

I can still remember the insistence of teaching Chaucer in its original text or even worse Beowulf so that one can get the meaning of the author's intent rather than the interpretation of the translator. And the people who taught them effectively said that reading them in modern english translation would be "desecrating literature."

Thus from my remaining memories of literature I would say:

"Experience, though noon auctoritee,
Were in this world, were right ynogh to me
To speke of wo that is in [Literature]"

There are many people studying Literature not because they specifically love it or even if they love it may not want to go that deep. It may be a requirement for the course or school such as maths. Sure learning it in such a different manner may be shocking but if it does the job and the students get good grades or better grades than if this was not used, then I do not see why this study aid should be criticised.
post #13 of 20
My personal feelings on the matter, is that kids are spending too much time txting and iming (instant messanging) in the first place, and if they have enough time to sit and type messeges on a phone key pad, wait for reply and repeat, then by god, they have enough time to sit down open a book and read it. I will admit I used cliff notes, more than once (I dont think the illiad is going to change much between world lit, greek and roman mythology, honors english, high school, and poetry. after the first 2 times cliffs notes it was.) and I know there are a lot of professors out there that feel that cliffs notes are the devil.

My view point is, its not going to kill them to pick up a book and read it. I have had my fair share of college, and I know there are times when you dont have time to breathe, but I managed to survive, and they will too. Sure when you apply for your business internship they are not going to ask you what the name of all the little women were, or who was helen of troys father, or where the oedipus complex comes from, but that doesnt mean that it isnt something that everyone should know.
post #14 of 20
*gasp* oh no! Sadly, i know that kids don't read enought hese days, and I know that Cliffnotes are about the entirety of their literary experience. When you condense a story like that, it loses all it's meaning, all it's trials and tribulations. sure, concise way to summarize the climax of Jane Eyre is to say "mad wife sets fire to house" but you lose all the emotions that it is meant to pull into mind. I cannot beleive one can fully understand the characters motivation, it's feeling with this sort of blasphemously truncated version of these works.

If the Author wanted the story to be told in 5 seconds, I'm certain they could, but there would be no development to the story that way. Personally, all I think that sort of rubbish will do is influence children to not read at all, and that's simply a shame, because studies show that young people that read regularly do better in classes (not associated with what they're reading), have better comprehension and reasoning skills, learn more innate psychology of human beings, and, later in life, the ability to read and keep your mind active is proven to prevent Altzheimers, an improve the all around quality of life. It's an important skill to develop, and it hurts me that I'm in the minority of people my age that feels this way.
post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by bumpy
As long as it serves the purpose of teaching students and for those more exam oriented ones getting good grades, I do not see the problem with it.

I can still remember the insistence of teaching Chaucer in its original text or even worse Beowulf so that one can get the meaning of the author's intent rather than the interpretation of the translator. And the people who taught them effectively said that reading them in modern english translation would be "desecrating literature."

Thus from my remaining memories of literature I would say:

"Experience, though noon auctoritee,
Were in this world, were right ynogh to me
To speke of wo that is in [Literature]"

There are many people studying Literature not because they specifically love it or even if they love it may not want to go that deep. It may be a requirement for the course or school such as maths. Sure learning it in such a different manner may be shocking but if it does the job and the students get good grades or better grades than if this was not used, then I do not see why this study aid should be criticised.

Bleh I was the only kid in my college that read beowulf in High School, forget that it was required in the curriculum. I actually enjoy reading the canterbury tales in the original language
post #16 of 20
"The company claims the service will be a valuable resource for studying for exams." Oh, yeah, particularly when you have to "study" right in the middle of an exam, as you never got around to reading most of the books on your reading list. This just offers one more reason to collect cell phones at the classroom door. 1dr y u got n f?
post #17 of 20
I hope I die first. I get irked enough seeing that in posts. It's just plain hard to read!! To alter great literature that way would be like painting over the Sistine Chapel with Budweiser ads.
post #18 of 20
It's bad enough that people are too lazy to read the texts, even worse that they are too lazy to get Cliff Notes. That's sad! It's also annoying to read. It reminds me of those vanity license plates. They are always so hard to make out.
post #19 of 20
When I get text messages or emails from my nieces, nephews, or students like that, I don't respond. They know I want to see plain English/German.
post #20 of 20
I see that the guy promoting this is the chairman of the panel of judges for the Booker Prize. For anyone who doesn't know, this is a prize for a fiction book, and to most in UK the books they choose are often obscure, strange, unreadable (in some cases) and probably don't have much to do with the wider reading public. They are certainly not as popular as Dickens was in his day.

On a brighter note, in our school, the students have to read (for homework, over half a term) a classic novel written before 1914. This is at age 14. They have to read at least one more before they are 16. Some of them even enjoy it!

I too struggle with text speak, and I was grateful for the translations in this article. I sometimes feel I am the only person in the world who has never sent a text message - even my mother does it!
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