What to do to be accepted
I STUMBLED upon an internet gem when brushing up on some grammatical skills – which at my age get, understandably, rusty.
A computer science student in Israel developed a computerised learning system, part of which was an app that detected sarcasm, irony etc in messages.
It is something of a shame that electronic devices are now filling the gaps left by a retreating, comprehensive education.
I have first-hand experience of well-meaning editors replacing a pithy irony in the title of an article with the somewhat plodding language of a Grade 3 reader.
From my position as a contributor, it is not my place to dictate to anyone – especially as that attitude might prevent my articles from making it to the printed page! But I do wonder if I should do as a friend recently advised: “write down to the lowest common denominator and you will be more acceptable”.
In thinking about what he said, I recognised a certain uncomfortable truth that we might not really care to consider.
Maybe we have been ‘dumbed down’ over time but it might be incumbent upon those who write to try to lift the understanding and use of our language before more of it disappears into the ‘e-ther’!
SHARING THE MESSAGE: Letter writer Al Byrnand (inset) fears he may have to “write down to the lowest common denominator”.