Friday, January 6, 2012

Reading & Writing in Today's World


The way most of us read and write today is fundamentally different from the way most people read and wrote 15 to 20 years ago....

1) What do you think about these changes &
2) What do you think about writing in general and about the role writing in any form (from text messages, graffiti, and ads to research papers, news reports, novels and movie scripts) plays in today’s world?

I have selected some YouTube clips about writing and related topics that I find interesting. Please have a look at them and, if you wish, integrate them in your discussion.

Feel also free to lead us to other YouTube clips or websites about writing that you find interesting.

Please note: you are welcome to comment about that topic in any genre you wish (from “normal“ blog entries or comments to poems, manga or video clips). You are also welcome, of course, to respond to any comments or post someone else has made. Last but not least, you are also very welcome to comment more than once, if you wish.

I hope you will enjoy sharing your ideas with the rest of us about this topic!


Here the links:

I Write Because…

The Top 10 Reasons to Write

Authors on Writing

More Authors on Writing

The Power of Words

Storytelling & Identity

Advice for Writers from Stephen King

Advice for Writers from Garrison Keillor

Advice for Writers from Kurt Vonnegut

Writing Lessons by Jack Kerouac

Wit & Wisdom from Writers about Writing, I

Wit & Wisdom from Writers about Writing, II (critics)

Jaques Derrida: Fear of Writing

Peter Elbow: On Writing

Garrison Keillor: Writing in Different Forms

Toni Morrison: Motivation for Writing

Salman Rushdie: The Creative Process

Margaret Atwood: The Creative Process


  1. As technology has improved dramatically over the last 20 years, the way we communicate changed as well. Today, thanks to the online blogs, you don't necessarily need to 'publish' your work to be a writer. Moreover, you can be reached by hundreds of thousands people, just with a few clicks from their home on their chairs. However not all changes technology has brought is that 'great'. For example, people gradually quit sending mails , instead they become very fond of e-mails and text messages. I don't mean that we shouldn't text or e-mail at all, but instead, as a 90's child, I honestly admit that I miss handwritten old-fashion mails.

    Besides the convenience technology has brought, there are other things that have changed too. One of these things is people has become more open-minded, and less biased. Respect across cultures, freedom of speech and disinterested news reports are things that were rare 20 years ago too. That's why, today's writing is more objective and intellectually satisfying compared to 20 years ago.

    I think writing has a very important role in today's world. In Turkish, there is saying that can be translated as ' Spoken words fly but written words stay.' Likewise, all forms of writing make the ideas and/or thoughts to become, in a way, immortal. One of the most interesting forms of writing is graffiti. Once being a part of hip-hop culture, it's now a creative way of spreading your words. This was well illustrated in the recent movie I have seen named 'Exit through the gift shop'. Banksy, a worldwide famous graffiti artist, combines the immortal power of writing with the mind-blowing impact of creativity. Finally, I suggest everyone explore the beauty of graffiti.

  2. Writing has a different meaning in different contexts; the purpose of writing and method of writing varies across time and situation. As a student in the year 2012, when I first think of writing, I think of reluctantly sitting down at my desk staring at a blank Microsoft Word document and waiting for some brilliant idea to pop into my head so that I can finally start on my English 112 essay. On the other hand, if I was a student who had to stop going to school because of a war, the meaning of writing would completely change for me. The example of Anne Frank comes to mind. Anne Frank did not keep a diary because it was a school project, nor did she know that her diary would one day become world famous. She wrote a diary to get through hardships and to let out feelings that she would not otherwise let out. Reflecting back on my English 9 class when we studied the Diary of Anne Frank, I feel that I took her writing for granted. In the past, I saw the Diary of Anne Frank as a school assignment that was to be dreaded; however, I now realize that the writing in that diary actually represents something very meaningful.

    Furthermore, the meaning and way of writing has drastically transformed throughout the years. For instance, texting your friend “where r u, lets meet 4 lunch” may be considered to be writing in the present but would not even have thought to exist 30 years ago. As well, receiving a letter many years ago may bring news about a relative at war while receiving a letter today means that it is time to pay the bills. Moreover, more and more informal methods of writing are being recognized. For example, concrete poetry (poetry arranged so that the words resemble a shape or picture) may not be considered to be a proper piece of writing in the time of Shakespeare but concrete poetry is now a popular and creative style of writing for poets.

  3. I think that as technology continues to progress our "proper" writing is declining, meaning that slang, abbreviations and emoticons are becoming the norm. While reading a Shakespeare play, we may be confused be some words or phrases, but I think our language and writings have changed so drastically that our grandparents would not be able to read some our emails or text messages. My mom is a middle school teacher and she would often come home shocked that in grade 8 "I" was not being capitalized in hand written essays.
    I agree with Riza, I too miss handwritten letters. Christmas mail is the best mail all year because of the joy a handwritten card can bring. I can't help but to think it would not be the same to receive a Christmas e-card. I know I for one would be a lot more exited to receive a letter from my friend than an email. However, technology has also brought countless benefits, such as making distance relationships of any kind possible.
    I think that in terms of poetry, our creativity is being expressed in more outwardly forms. Rather that just putting a pen to paper, things like slam poetry are becoming more and more popular as well as incorporating song and dance.
    In my opinion, writing is an essential part of our life and always will be. I think great works of literature will continue to be publish, and printed. I do not believe that kindles and other technology will take over printed books because you cannot compare downloading a book to opening one. I also think that writing is a vital part to clearing one's mind, expressing opinions, and creating movements that can change the future. Overall, the change in writing over the years cannot be classified as a positive change of a negative change. It is what it is and it will continue to change infinitely.

  4. In my opinion, the process of writing and the presentation of its content has stayed almost unchanged from 15-20 years ago. It may not even have changed much since the invention of the English language. Setting content aside, pure writing is just about the documentation of facts or thoughts through a logical progression of words. That being said, formal prose and grammar hasn't changed much in the last 20 or so years. It would seem that content, however, changes in a much more dramatic fashion. I say this because while there are hundreds of different novels, blogs, news articles and scientific research articles published every minute. These genres, once established, don't stray far from the form and differ only in content. Of course, there are new places for writing due to advances in the field of electronic communication, but I can still tell a scientific article apart from a novel because I've seen the format many times and it still hasn't changed. All of this is based on the assumption that most text messages and facebook comments, those that are relevant only for a brief moment in time, are excluded from the genre of writing.

    I know I've been quite a devil's advocate, but from my point of view the true importance of language in the written form is the advantage of longevity it has over verbal communication. After all, a thought can be very well expressed with vocal inflections and body language, which is also the strength of spoken or slam poetry. Writing on the other hand, is a place where thoughts, ideas, and emotions can live on in the unaltered format of its creator that can be passed through the generations. Written work is cultural history from my point of view, so that people who came after the author whether immediately or long after can observe the writer's thoughts at the moment of writing. Writing is something that cannot be lost to time, and its practice in any language is the only that we have to keep track of a fleeting moment in the great scheme of the universe.

  5. Although I have adapted to today’s environment of fast communication, “wherever and whenever I want”, I still find it a bit annoying to receive messages like “yo, where r u?” or “ttyl” and even “brb”. Sometimes, I just wish people who send those types of messages would take time to practise writing their messages properly!

    This is the consequence of technology today towards writing. Twenty years ago, the messages you would have sent now would have either have been hand-written properly or sent by an early version of an e-mail system. If you did hand-write a letter, which was quite a popular choice back then, then you would have had to write with the proper use of language, grammar, and style that was necessary in order for others to understand it. Now, simple increments of ‘code’ are easily translated into sentences in your head. The ‘code’ that people use should be considered as the ‘lazy way out’ or ‘the illiterate way’, but due to the popularity in fast communication, this way of messaging is very common and has become an infamous way of communicating.

    Although this may be a fairly significant consequence towards writing, fast communication has also proved to be a great ally in expressing what one has written to the entire world. Since computers are ubiquitous, writing has migrated its way from paper to documentation software programs. This also makes electronic writing very efficient, especially in the case of sending messages to others. In a nut shell, writing has evolved with technology throughout the past twenty

  6. I am actually quite excited by the changes that are happening in regards to writing. I find it empowering that our current technologies allow me to share my thoughts in a variety of ways, in a variety of formats, nearly instantaneously. The speed and scope with which a message can be shared is truly amazing, but it’s also quite frightening. For example, Justin Bieber has more than 16 million Twitter followers, giving him an incredibly powerful pipeline directly into the minds of his fans (even if it is only 140 characters at a time). Now I don’t have anything against Justin Bieber, but I am scared of his ability to influence so many people so quickly.

    I think it’s necessary for writing to continue to evolve because producing and consuming audio and video media has become so easy and inexpensive. Now we have video tutorials replacing user manuals, video news clips appearing next to (or instead of) news articles, and many other situations in which the role of written content is changing. It will be interesting to see what other ways writing will continue to evolve during out lifetimes.

  7. Writing is a way to be seen, heard, and recognized. It is a way to get one’s ideas across and to share to others. 20 years ago the world had begun to experience the new era of advanced technology. Information was spread worldwide in seconds and the local voice was lost. E-mails became prominent over letters and text messages soon replaced phone calls. Online messages, online news reports, and online speeches are now the fast and easy way of receiving information and gaining knowledge. While it is effective, written work is timeless and as John stated above, it is the most successful way of perceiving the author’s thoughts and emotions on the topic. As the world’s technology has advanced, creating a global community, writing has become less formal and filled with laziness. Nonetheless, writing has also become greatly creative.
    In a world where one’s ideas are rarely original due to excessive influences from the media, creativity in writing has excelled. Poetry, ads, newspapers and movie scripts have all become modernized and more informal in order to relate to the ever-changing younger generation. Graffiti is a great example of creative writing that has become very imaginative and is a useful way to get one’s ideas noticed in this world where voices are harder and harder able to be heard. I believe that the writing of today represents humans more accurately in the sense that it is easier for all to relate to. After all, writing, although it has become less formal, it has become more pure and honest.

  8. Change in literature can be denoted as a positive or negative drift in society. Throughout humanity the way people express literature has evolved. This heap of evolution has several effects on how society interacts through the use of words. For a person to think of a these changes, to truly explain changes in humanity, a bias cannot be implicated. People need to realize the good and the bad in the growth of reading and writing over the years. I believe the development in reading and writing over the years has developed and also fallen. As years have passed on people now have so many methods for expression; poetry, short stories, biographies, autobiographies, speeches. Society has now learned to express and interpret literature at a young age. However, today’s society tends to overlook the antiques of literature. Literature from the past has a primal complexity to it with a lot of value and meaning to it. A problem with the way our society interprets and understands literature is that people do not turn to old literature and are not appreciative of true literature; the start of understanding. Growth of literature is innate, even if it is for the right or wrong reasons.

    In the growth of humanity, different ways of expression continue to grow vastly. In the 21st century, modern methods of expression include poetry, graffiti, music, movies, and art. These forms of expression all have a meaning and significance to the creator. It brings about the background and the true feelings of the artist. For example, the origin of graffiti was an act of rebellion towards the pressure the government, politics, and society applied on the youth. The point of graffiti was to deface buildings to show what the younger population felt towards society’s pressures. It has now evolved into forms of expression showing peoples beliefs on worldwide issues. These forms of expression place emphasis on political and societal issues that people need to learn about. There are those who claim that too much expression is starting to have a negative impact on society. If these methods of communication are suppressed young adults will not be aware of what if wrong in the world.

  9. As technology improves, so does everything else in the world, including reading and writing. We as humans adapt to the changes in our environment, so we can survive in the world; “survive of the fittest”. For instance, people applying for a job can simply go on the computer and type out a resume and then email the resume to the company. However, 15-20 years ago, people used a pen and paper to write their resume and then went to the post office to mail the resume.

    Also, reading is completely different now. 15-20 years ago, books and newspapers were the only source for people to read and find out information. But today, with a click of a button, we can read books and newspapers online and still obtain the same information from the hardcopy book; not only do we save time, we save money too. Or we can buy a tablet with all our favourite books downloaded into it, which means we can read as many books at any moment by just carrying the tablet with us.

    Lastly, who needs to write the full words when you can write the short version of the words and your friends will still understand you. For example, when my friend texts me something funny, I am not going to reply back with laugh-out loud, instead I am going to simply text “LOL”, which is easy and straight to the point with only 3 letters.

    In our world today, efficiency is key; so spend the least amount of time to get the most out of things. Therefore, people would choose to type out everything from assignments to notes, create short abbreviations for words to use for text messages and note taking and read online instead of going out to buy the books. Therefore, I believe everything must change in life, even human beings like us change. So many years later, how we read and write today will change too.

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  11. Writing has existed for thousands of years; beginning as a simple way of recording down information that one’s memory might fail to remember, it has evolved into art, mediums of knowledge or even releases of psychological problems. However in the past century writing has taken on even more methods and meanings. Through the development of technology the uses of writing has expanded greatly.

    In the past it was that a person only wrote under a few circumstances. Either one’s occupation required it of him (i.e. scribe, playwright, academics etc.), one wrote because of pleasure, or the need of communication. The latter two were extremely rare and only possible under optimum circumstances. The same is not true today. Technology along with education-induced widespread literacy has allowed almost everyone in the Western world to be able to write and see written language in countless ways. Pervasive literacy amongst modern societies has created previously uncommon things such as advertisements, books or even written instructions. Furthermore, specific technologies have allowed and have given the opportunity for the common modern man to personally write. When asked, any person on the street would say that they have written something in some way during their day, whether it be text-messaging, emailing or even writing a shopping list.

    However the question that arises from all this is whether simple day to day tasks such as text-messaging should count as actual “writing”. I personally think that they definitely do. Even though a shopping list would not convey deep meaning or provide mounds of knowledge for the reader, it has essentially fulfilled the earliest known reason for writing: to offer an alternative to memorization. These technology induced new forms of writing would still give the writer an opportunity to gain writing experience. Thus the benefit that a modern man has in comparison to his ancestors in regards to writing is tremendous. I think that this advantage will improve the culture of written language.

  12. The English language in the present day has an expanded vocabulary when compared with 20 years ago. The introduction of new technologies that allow rapid communication has given us a greater amount of slang words than ever before. ‘LOL’ is a common term understood by many in today’s world. This would not have been possible 20 years ago as these slang words only came about with the introduction of cell phones and ‘viral’ videos. In the past, words used in writing were words you would find in an Oxford dictionary. Letters were written in a formal fashion, with ‘Dear’ addressing the receiver at the very top, though modern day letters are sent through emails and texts, where grammar does not mean much. In addition, the English language has adopted words from other cultures at a high rate. Common English has absorbed words for various ethnic foods into its lexicon, ‘samosa’ being an example. Movies shot around the world being shown in English-speaking nations have allowed words like ‘kung-fu’ and ‘slumdog’ to be understood in various places.

    Literature will evolve. It will change as our authors and playwrights do, as our means of communication do, and as our reliance on it does. In modern society, we still read, but it is what and how we read that has changed. For instance, newspapers have turned digital. In the past, newspapers gave us updates on global and local events, though today we may turn to the computer as our main means of attaining knowledge on happenings across the globe. Moreover, new inventions such as the portable reader have given readers the ability to hold libraries in the palm of their hand. Communication through letters has ceased greatly, with texting being its replacement. Personally, I would make the argument that the importance of writing is greater today than it was 20 years ago. We must know how to read and write to communicate in today’s world. Social interactions online require it, as do essays, job interviews, and simple transactions at grocery stores when we sign our names on the receipt.

  13. The ways in which most of us read and write today are fundamentally different from the way most people read and wrote 15 to 20 years ago, and although it can be argued whether or not this change has been positive or negative, my belief is that these changes have been for the better.

    The power of words cannot be denied and the improvement of technology that we have seen over the years does not diminish this power, yet, it adds to its strength. Sure letters have been replaced by emails, and slowly phone calls by “face-time”, but these advancements have made communication that much easier in today’s busy world. Thoughts and feelings are instantly being expressed via text message or Facebook status and the advancement of society in accepting and being more open to the differences around them has given a new meaning to “freedom of speech.”

    Over the years, the narrow mindedness of people and old-fashioned beliefs of what is acceptable in society and what is not have changed, allowing people to freely express themselves through literature, song, and even art. The changes have in fact transformed communication, expression even reading and writing, but not so much so that the importance of it has been lost. Writing I believe is an art, through which lessons are learned, thoughts are expressed, and stories are told. The approach to writing has become more modernized with society, but this drift away from formalness has made it easier for people to relate to and understand the writing of today.

    Literature, in my opinion, has been and will continue to be an important part of our lives, as it allows for the expression of thoughts and feelings, the presentation of new inventions and ideas, and the documentation of our very existence. It will however, continue to change as we do.

  14. Although in today's society creative literature and the language of writing is still valued and highly practiced, the way most of us write today is fundamentally different from the way most people read and wrote 15 to 20 years ago. 15 to 20 years ago writing was a critical form of communication amongst families and friends. There was always something personal and intimate behind written words because it was one of the few ways of expressing your emotions and deepest thoughts to one another.

    With the advancement of technology, I feel that communication in the form of writing has completely changed. It has dramatically altered from writing with importance to writing with convenience. As new forms of technology are introduced, so are the new forms of excuses for convenient communication. Text messaging, BBM, Facebook, just to name a few, have changed the way we write to each other. Aside from the obvious and complete loss of grammar and spelling, our words have somewhat lost their meaning and importance. They have become less personal in the way that families can use texting as an excuse of keeping in touch. A "Happy New Year" can suffice as that nowadays. Our words have lost their formality. How can one create a healthy relationship with his/her boss when he/she can simply email you the important date and times you need to know.

    What I am trying to say is written words can be used for more than point A to point B communication. This is what we need to remember.

    - Puneet Brar

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  15. After reading several comments on this blog about the evolution of writing, I’m disappointed in those who have forgotten that the written word should not be used to replace the spoken word. As Puneet said, writing is more than just getting the message across; it has to do with sharing emotion and being understood. Writing should be reserved for situations in which speaking is not a reasonable option, like newspapers and novels. I feel that writing is invading the world and taking away from interpersonal situation. We ARE using technology more; writing emails and sending text messages ARE replacing our need for handwritten letters and phone calls but I want to point out the importance of talking to communicate with the people around us.

    I agree with Tessa that writing has become more honest as we don’t take as much time with an email as we would with a letter and how many of us proof read our texts for spelling, grammar, and clarity? No longer is communication formal and thought out; it’s faster and more efficient. Efficiency was pointed out as being a key development in the recent changes of writing formats and styles, though it comes at a cost.

    Face to face communication calls on various non-verbal cues. Without realizing it, we analyze the body language (face, arms, stance, where their eyes are looking) and the voice (loudness, intonation, speed, pauses) when we talk to someone. Even on the phone we can still have all the vocal cues, if not the body language. A text message, on the other hand, loses both of these forms on a dynamic conversation and we revert to whole sentences summarized in three words. LOL.

    I understand that writing is important and it shapes our lives, surrounding us from morning to night. Still, I urge you to use efficiency in moderation and if you’re chatting with your friend about your weekend, go grab a coffee and sit for a while; I promise you’ll be absorbing more than just words.

  16. Writing and reading are used to express ones feelings or ideas through logical reasoning. Throughout time, these skills have developed drastically in sending a detailed and powerful message that can now influence ones thoughts. As the economy progressively advances with technology there is no doubt that our messages become communication barriers. This means that our messages through writing may not come across clearly due to short notations taken. For instance, because of the establishment of social networks such as Skype, Microsoft Messenger or even texting. Individuals cut down time on communication in order to increase their productivity. A businessman might choose to text an employee a message that reads “meeting 4pm 2floor” because business individuals need to be straight forward in order to increase efficiency.

    In my opinion, people cannot progress in life without writing. The world cannot advance and technology will never develop. We need writing in order to compile innovative ideas. For instance, before Apple can launch any of their products they must have a written report regarding the future implications of their product (ex: projected sales revenue). Hence, without writing or reading, the society is hindered from expressing their emotions or ideas. The world will therefore be stuck in one place and perhaps decline in productivity rate.

  17. Reading and writing are the fundamental media in which information is exchanged. As with most facets of life, the basic acts of reading and writing has evolved with technology. From the Lascaux cave paintings to the Gutenberg Bible to text messaging, the form may differ but the function remains. I personally have a positive view on the progressive nature of literacy. Multimedia on instant messaging and the internet provides far more information than cave paintings or plain print. As a result of this, information is more widely available and in greater volume due to a change in the nature of literacy.

    The future will surely hold more changes for the way information is displayed and absorbed. However, I have no doubt that reading and writing will play an important role in the history of mankind for eons. (Barring some Orwellian future, of course.) While some critics may claim the World Wide Web and texting takes the passion and meaning out of their message; I believe that this is simply a reactionary response to new technology.

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  19. In today’s world, reading and writing have a distinct meaning that is unlike the meaning that they had 15 or 20 years ago. As we move into the future, the meaning that reading and writing portray will keep on changing. This is due to the fact that technology will play an important role on how we read and write. New technologies come into our lives, and will then skew the way we see reading and writing. Take Twitter for example. The social network confines its users to make statuses that are less than 140 characters. With this confinement, people are using abbreviations that become a fixture in our speech and writing.

    Reading has changed in a sense that we don’t need to have the hard copy of whatever we are reading. We have the technology now, to just search up the news on a browser without needing to have the actual newspaper present. We are able to read books and documents on iPads and smart phones.

    As we move forward into a more technological era, I believe that reading and writing won’t lose its fundamental meaning. The reason why we will always read and write is that they are ways that we can express ourselves, especially writing.

  20. With a lot of ideas circling around in my head and no idea how to start, I decided to freewrite my answer.

    10 min on writing, not an impossible task as writing about writing I should have something to say. I don’t always like writing but it is important. The way people get to see words has changes in the last several years, titter, facebook, and the internet but the ideas behind are the same. Characters ideas ideas ideas of thousands maybe millions of people on the world wide web, how many words do we read a day? How many authors are we exposed to without even thinking about it? How many people in the world cannot know the ideas of others because of no internet or illiteracy. Our in our society we take it for granted the transfer of thoughts so eloquently or not so eloquently put we see it every day everywhere. An integral part of our world and a large part of communication. Especially now with email and texts writing writing now I’m stuck kind of ironic to be stuck when writing about writing I spoke to my nana about how writing has changed and the first thing she said was how grammar and the harshness of grading punctuation has changed. Capitals are a dying species she said, when she was little one comma out of place would hurt your mark on an essay today my emails and im sure the emails of others often do not contain capitals or the correct punctuation. Texts are the worst for that all the abbreviations and slang, does it come from laziness or the need to get it over with faster. I don’t know. Writing is such a big part of everyone’s life not only because they write themselves but how they interpret the writing of others and see the ideas or stories that others have come up with. It amazes me to see what goes on indies other people heads it shows in their writing, portrayal of characters and even in the acknowledgements or dedications of books, so much can be learned by looking a the writing of others, everyone need to learn how to write most of all to be able to understand appreciate and critique the writing of others maybe not critique but look at it critically. Writing plays a big part in society, books, blogs, papers, essays, poems, texts, emails, letters, plays, movies, almost everything ties back to some kind of writing in the end.

  21. Thinking, creating, expressing, learning, experiencing

    People read and write less now then they did 15-20 years ago. Traditional forms of reading and writing now seem out dated with new advancements in technology. Writing is moving more and more towards only electronic as opposed to traditional pen to paper that was common 15-20 years ago. This doesn’t mean writing is becoming less important. It means the way we write and interpret writing is changing, evolving. Creative expression is still a huge part of culture and will continue to be the way it is done will just be different.

    Writing, even in the education system has evolved as society’s views on reading and writing have changed. Teachers have begun to incorporate alternative styles of creative expression and writing into english courses to accompany the traditional styles of literature such as classic novels and Shakespeare.

    In todays society there are there are more ways that are now deemed socially acceptable in terms of expressing one’s self whether it be through writing, drawing, dancing, or singing. Expression of creativity through art forms is becoming common among todays society whether it through lyrics, graffiti, dance, poetry, speech or traditional reading and writing.

  22. Technology has progressed reading and writing for the better. I myself am grateful for these advancements. For an example, the internet has provided everyone an unlimited source of knowledge. Encyclopedias, blogs, eBooks, forums, and social networks are just a few of the many resources available to all. Another example are writing tools. Laptops eliminate the need for paper and allow for easier editing. A spell check program can reduce the amount of mistakes in a document. There are even speech to text software, and vice versa. These are just a few examples of how technology has advanced. I personally look forward to what the future brings to reading and writing.

    In my opinion, writing is an important way to express ideas and emotions. It can be very enjoyable writing a journal about your interests, feelings, or just daily events. Without writing, ideas spoken will be lost, experiences lived can be forgotten, and history can be altered.

  23. The methods of writing compared to two decades ago has not changed, but the mediums we use to write with certainly has. Forums, blogs, instant messengers and other utilities has mostly replaced what we used to write on, such as bulletin boards, journals, or letters, but what we decide to write and the purpose for writing them seems to appear the same.

    As for reading, what we now consume compared to what we read back then could be viewed drastically different. The sources of reading material would often be from libraries, letters, or pieces of writing exposed to us, but since the advent of the internet and the introduction of better technology, we are no longer limited to just books, journals, magazines, and writing between close friends or connections. What we read today has expanded to posts on reddit, walls on facebook, and the tweets of the people we follow on twitter.

    In my opinion, the purpose of writing appears to remain the same, but what we read now seems to be what has changed over the past two decades.

  24. Like most things in this world, when considering writing from 20 years ago to now, there will always be pros and cons to the issue. I believe the major different to writing has been the emergence of writing through technology. Some pros would be that it is quick and easy to write things now. Nowadays on the computer, people can type insanely fast. Even though mediums such as phones, it is quick and efficient to jot down ideas or even long pieces of writing. Just like the freewriting assignment we did in class, when writing using technology, it is easy to express our ideas without hesitation. If we don’t like it, highlight and delete. Personally, I become less hesitant when I write using technology because I can always go back and change it. Whereas if I only wrote on paper, I would be spending more time thinking about what I should write because it feels as if I only have one chance at writing it down on paper. Of course it is relatively easy to change your writing on paper as well, just double space. However, I feel like I have a different mindset when writing using technology versus writing by hand.

    This can lead to come some superficial cons such as not being well versed in writing by hand. I think most students do and would prefer to write on their computers. While we can easily write papers through our computers however most tests with essays require us to write it by hand. I have felt that there were times while writing essays for exams, I would feel rushed because I’m don’t usually have as much practice writing on paper anymore. Perhaps this can be linked to the fact I don’t write for pleasure very often anymore. I think in the past, people would enjoy the process of writing more. More people would write journals for example to keep track of their memories and ideas. However, with all the other forms of writing we can do such as text messages or posting things of facebook, we can just look towards them to see what we have done in the past. There isn’t a need to do additional writing when it’s not required.

    From thinking about these themes, I feel like I really need to discover my joy of writing again!

  25. The following link sums up my opinions on modern English;

    The English language, in its entirety, is a funny and absurd language. It is important to understand the ridiculousness of the language itself before comparing how the ridiculousness has evolved over the past 15-20 years. The short video should give a brief glimpse about the level of absurdity before moving on and comparing the evolution of this absurdity.

    Over the past 15-20 years, I feel the language has degraded over the time period. Communication through text messages is a significant contributor to this degradation. Each text message has a character limit and individuals, in their need to be economically efficient chose to shorten words and sentences as sending one message would be cheaper then sending two. The problem with this is that these shortened forms eventually became a trend and teenagers chose to communicate more in this adulterated version. It would not be surprising if the next generation communicated in the following way;

    I feel that the role of writing has remained the same. Writing communicates ideas effectively. But the content of what we read has changed drastically over the last 15-20 years.

    Arnold Palha

  26. The way we read and write today has changed significantly in the past two decades largely due to the availability and limitations of technology. Our society has reached the point where multiple generations have spent their entire lives, thus far, surrounded by technology. Computers are constantly present in our lives: they give us advice, knowledge, and help us accomplish our daily tasks.

    Word processing, for one, has had a profound influence. Computers have made it much easier to organize the flow of ideas when writing a paper. It is as simple as the click of a mouse to highlight a passage and move it to a different part of your document at the last minute. More than twenty years ago if you wanted to do this it meant painstakingly retyping or rewriting your entire document. Computers even correct our little mistakes. No longer is it necessary to capitalize the word "I", or to be able to differentiate between homophones like "their", "they're" or "there". I wouldn't dream of handing in a paper without running a spelling and grammar check, just to make sure.

    The amount of knowledge available for us to read has increased dramatically in the past two decades. The internet holds a wealth of information. You don't even really need to know what you are looking for: if you make a mistake on Google it will correct you and present you with a dazzling array of knowledge. Of course then you have to sort through it. We have become accustomed to skimming through this large amount of information in order to find what we want. The reader of an online article will skip large amount of possibly perfectly relevant information.

    Technology has had both benefits and drawbacks to our reading and writing but it can never be a substitute for your own learned knowledge of the proper way to read and write. I am sure some of you have seen this video but it really drives the point home:

  27. I believe technology is one major change that has brought much advancement in reading and writing. There are varieties of resources we can use nowadays such as eBooks for on the go.
    A great benefit one may gain from eBooks is the fact that they can purchase many books in to one, slim device that is smaller than a book. We can even access books, newspapers and magazines through our phones or internet. In addition, audio books have definitely helped in the community for the blind, as well as people in general who prefer books to be read aloud.

    Similarly, technological advancement of keyboards and tablets help people to write faster and neater. Although the fact that people can write easier physically does not change the element of the writing, typing instead of writing certainly does ease the pain of fixing mistakes after writing in pen, or changing ideas. Because the comfort level in the physical aspect in writing has evolved, I believe technology scores another point in writing.

    Does technology weaken the creative side of people? I would say yes and no. Personally, I believe there is something special about the written language and text than simply reading illustrated cartoons or watching movies. Reading and interpreting images and translations according to one’s experiences can develop creativity in one another instead of having someone else drawing the picture for them. They are all different forms of communicating and expressions, but because technology is so advanced, instead of reading, young teenagers are inclined to skip the reading and to watch the movie or theatrical version of a novel, for example. Movies did exist 15 to 20 years back, however, media's presence and its role in our society has changed for better and for worse over the years.

  28. The way most of us read and write today is fundamentally different from the way most people read and wrote 15 to 20 years ago....
    1) What do you think about these changes?

    I believe the changes that have occurred over the past 15-20 years have had a lot to do with ever-changing dynamic of culture integrated into our social lives. Culture has an incredible impact on the way we write and how we perceive things such as words and pictures. A good example of this would be the way a person would view the word "gay" out of context. Over the past 20 years this word has taken on a variety of meanings, from being simply description of something joyful/happy, to a common discriminatory term. It is because of the changing dynamic of our culture, and in this case the outburst of discrimination from socially backwards people, do we perceive these different notions when certain words are seen or written. Who knows in what context the word "gay" or any other word will be written 20 years from now as we mostly have no control over the way our culture changes.

    2) What do you think about writing in general and about the role writing in any form (from text messages, graffiti, and ads to research papers, news reports, novels and movie scripts) plays in today’s world?

    I strongly believe writing is an increasingly important way to make people aware of what's going on in the world. Many websites don't only use pictures to get their message across, but will using writing as a tool to spread news. Reading the news is a large part of people's daily routines, and without it many of us would be left unaware of events going on in the world that may be important to us. In this day and age, writing is also a great way for people's voices to be heard, without actually speaking. Opinions are the epitome of democracy. Without the ability to write what you believe in, you are forced to believe what is right from someone else who has some sort of authority over you. Opinion is the way the internet is infinitely expanding and the way that I'm commenting on this blog right now. Writing makes all of this possible, so it is hard to imagine a world without it.

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  30. I believe that English is a constantly evolving and vibrant language, changing to meet the needs of the people who use it. Words are constantly being removed and added to dictionaries and new words are being created every day. I believe these changes are in some respects good, but in another respect horrendous. There are sorts of media in our world that I believe is devolving our language for instance instant messaging and text messaging. Our language, normally elegant, is turned into a jumbled mess of “LOL, LMAO, G2G, o/, \o/.” short hand notations. Over time words describing exacting situations will be lost and the unique facets of our language will be lost.

    On the other hand, technology has enabled man-kind to communicate on a scale never seen before. A phone call can be made from across the world and research facilities such as UBC and ones in Europe or Asia can be co-ordinated to research a single project. Information can be instantly transmitted, and as a result time is saved and progress can be easily be made.

    A horrendous abomination that technology has brought about is virtual texts. From the kindle to a PDF on a computer, I will always prefer a book. There will always be something novel about holding a book in your hands and sitting down to read it. It may be strange discomforting musky smell of a book or the texture of each page as you flip it. I believe that a physical book may never truly be replaced, within our generation at least.