Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Cn u rd ths?

I'm told I have a Facebook page, although I have no idea where it came from. I don't text. I don't Twitter.

This is not, I believe, because I'm a Luddite or an old fuddy-duddy. I enjoy, for example, the discipline of writing a mini-essay here each morning, and relish the idea that people from a dozen countries are kind enough to read, thanks to Goggle Blogger and the internet.

No, my antipathy to the new technologies of constant and instant communication has to do with language -- with respecting the wholeness and fullness of the mother tongue, its lush fabric of grammar and syntax, its etymological riches, its concatenations of sound. I cringe when I see or hear language being squeezed through a wire, its nap sheared, its soft tissue crushed. Communication is about more than the transfer of information. A thought well expressed is a thought well dressed (as Alexander Pope said in words to that effect). I love seeing ideas go into the world in a dandy suit of clothes.

In transit tomorrow, west across the Atlantic. Back on Thursday.