Written Word Not That Dead After All
Ever since the dawn of a glorious thing called the Internet, many among the world's literati have been carping and kvetching about the imminent demise and corruption of the written word at the hands of tweets and other cyber abbreviations. One recent study, however, proudly proclaims prose to be healthier than ever, thank you very much.
As Wired reports, researchers at the University of San Diego found that, contrary to popular belief, the Internet Age has actually seen a substantial increase in the amount of text that people read. (The amount actually tripled between 1980 and 2008.) On average, Americans now "consume" about 100,500 words per day, and they read about 36-percent of them. In other words, we may be writing and reading in OMG and LOL shorthand, but that brevity and, more importantly, the Internet vehicle that facilitates it have allowed us to consume a lot more words -- at least on a strictly volumetric basis.
Of course, quantity doesn't always mean quality, and this recent study isn't likely to convince those who insist that the Internet has rendered us all ADD-addled dilettantes. And they probably have a fair point. Sure, we may click on links to long posts and in-depth articles, but how many of us actually read anything to completion, before getting distracted by an IM or another Facebook notification? [Ed. note - We do, Amar. We never get distra..] Then again, though, the Kindle is more popular than ever, and there has been a lot of hype surrounding Apple's impending iSlate release. That being the case, it's hard for anyone to justify any funeral preparations for the written English language just yet. The Internet may not be Gutenberg's printing press, but we don't think it's linguistically regressive by any means, either. [From: Wired]