Anxieties about the Digital Age

English major Pat Kernan responds to Imani Perry’s 2012 essay, “Of Degraded Talk, Digital Tongues, and a Commitment to Care.” Pat includes great links to writing he’s done that is relevant to Perry’s ideas. Look at the rest of Pat’s blog for other insights he’s shared during his Senior Seminar, and follow him on Twitter (@PatKernan). You can also check out #engl495 on Twitter to find out more about Senior Sem!

Patrick J. Kernan

The way language is used is something that I think about a lot; I’ve actually written about it before for Marywood’s newspaper The Wood Word, and you can read my article here. Suffice it to say that I really have no anxieties about the future of language. I think that language has always evolved naturally, and what was once gramatically wrong will become right eventually. This is nothing to worry about, as it has always happened, and would have happened whether or not the digital age occurred.

While I’m not worried about the future of language in the digital age, I am worried about the future of dialog. It seems like nothing short of impossible for people to behave responsibly when discussing things on the Internet. Shrouded by anonymity, they feel as though they can say anything they want (which is something that I talked about in…

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