February 2010 Archives

Monks' God-given Gift

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In the eyes of God, the merit of a humble brother who surrenders in obedience to copying is much greater than the merit of a monk who on his own authority seems to be engaged in contemplation.

--Trithemius, "In Praise of Scribes" in Writing Material

Even though I learned about the monasteries' role in recording history prior to the invention of the printing press. I just think it's incredible that the church was so adamant about recording history. It make sense that the monks saw the urgency in writing down the Bible, among other scriptures. 

Like Megan, I was surprised to think of the written word as a God-given asset. If you even look at the way in which the bible was written, you can see the love for God written into those words.  I may not be the most religious person, but I see the value in keeping a record of the scriptures. I never took writing as a message from God, but it makes sense, considering how much writing goes into the celebration of God and Jesus' life. Look at a basic hymnal--it's jammed packed with songs, prayers and inspirational messages, all written for the glory of God.

I just find it so interesting that the monks of old saw writing as a necessity for their way of life. It seems like it was almost a sin to not partake in that activity. I've read in WCT I that the monks lived very structured lives, focusing on manual labor, prayer and writing. Before writing became popular, it was reserved for the monks of the monasteries, who would spend their entire lives transcribing the same information over and over again. 

My Handwriting has a Personality all its own!

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By the nineteenth century, many people firmly believed not only that every person's handwriting was unique, but that handwriting was " an unfailing index of...character, moral and mental, and a criterion by which to judge of...peculiarities of taste and sentiment."

--Naomi Baron, "The Art and Science of Handwriting" in Writing Material

I really enjoyed reading this assigned text, mostly because this wasn't the first time I'd heard of handwriting reflecting our personalities. When I was younger, I used to love taking those personality quizzes in magazines. Although I don't have the magazine anymore, I do remember taking a handwriting personality test. So, in the spirit of reminiscence, I decided to google "handwriting tests," and try one out for my blog entry. I found a simple one online.

After reading the 10 questions, I established this about my handwriting and my personality:

  1. My handwriting slants forward, which suggests that I am self-controlled.
  2. The letters in my words are partially connected, depending on the letters, which means that I am a shy, idealistic person who does not find it easy to have relationships.
  3. The spaces between my words are wide, meaning again, that I am shy, cautious and thoughtful.
  4. Because my lines of text are close enough that my descending letters intersect with my ascending letters, I am organized.
  5. When I write, I typically use black ink, which suggests that I am conservative and stick to tradition.
  6. My capital I is typically larger than my other capital letters, which means I am a person who holds a high opinion of myself.
  7. My t's cross in the middle, which suggests that I'm not very original. :-(
  8. My lines slant upward, so I'm energetic, optimistic and assertive.
  9. My descenders take up more room vertically, which means that I have a tendency to be bossy.
  10. My flow of writing is heavy, which indicates that I take what life gives me and run with it.

My response to the analysis:

Although the test was not completely accurate, it definitely hit some sweet spots. I thought it was interesting that the test suggests that I'm shy, because I don't consider myself to be shy or outgoing; I'm somewhere in the middle. In a crowded room, I tend to start out as a wallflower, but if I can warm up to the people around me, I become more outgoing. 
I found myself giggling a little bit when I read that my handwriting suggests that I'm an organized person. I guess in some ways I am, but if you took a look at my room, you'd definitely think otherwise.
I don't consider myself to be a very conservative person either, but I do enjoy traditions. 
I disagree with the comment that I lack originality. I may not be the most artistic person, but I do try to be different from my peers. I like to think that because I'm a writer, I have originality.
Number 8 was spot on. I have my pessimistic moments, but who doesn't? And I always try to be as assertive as possible.
I'd agree that I have moments when I'm bossy. I just like to get things done, so I'll take charge when I need to.
I agree with number 10, because I've always been a firm believer of "carpe diem."

So, it looks like my handwriting analysis was mostly accurate, with a few minor issues. Who knew you could learn so much from your own handwriting!

EL 336 Portfolio #1

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In order to wrap up this section of EL 336: Topics of Media and Culture: The Book, I'd like to share a brief anecdote about an absence of oral communication, because the majority of my blog entries tend to lean towards the importance of written communication.

A few days ago at work (Staples Copy Center for those of you who don't know), I encountered a deaf customer who needed assistance with purchasing a copy center express card to make his copies on one of the self-serve machines. Now, I'm not sure if the man was completely deaf, but he was *mostly* mute, meaning that he could make some sounds that I could recognize as numbers or "thank you." Anyway, we struggled to understand what each other needed, and I found myself not even trying to talk to him because I realized my words wouldn't work with someone who couldn't hear him. In the end, he made the gesture to write. Writing opened up our conversation up like you wouldn't believe. I'd already thought to offer him paper, but I was afraid that would be rude. But, once he opened that door, it really helped. I guess what I'm trying to say with this story is that we've grown so accustomed to having both that we don't know what to do when one of the elements is lost. 

Below is an accumulation of all the work I've done this far in the semester dealing with the transition from Orality to Manuscript.

  • It's all about control was my first entry for EL 336. In this entry, I addressed the idea that the writer has a lot more control over the reader than I expected. Bolter's article really provided insight for me about the written word.
  • Two Translations--Two Opportunities was a blog that dealt with two different translations concerning Homer's The Illiad. 
  • Wanna remember something? Write it down was my response to Plato and Sophocles claiming that writing ruins memorization. I disagreed and argued my point whole-heartedly.
  • TechKnow was one of my best blogs this in this portfolio. I illustrated what technology has done to me with an anecdote. I admit that my iPhone does more harm than good and also admit that I send way too many texts per month.
  • Revive Shorthand! was another good blog entry that dealt with, you guessed it, Shorthand. I talked about how much of an asset knowing Shorthand would be. I then explain my brief experience with Shorthand via good ol' Nancy Drew video games. I finished the entry with an introduction to the Livescribe pen that records audio and syncs it to notes written on paper.
  • Podcasts saved Oral Tradition is pretty self-explanatory. I talked about how technology is technically a vicious cycle and brings back old traditions.
  • Impromptu Power-outage Response was an extra blog that I wrote to tie in with previous class discussion. I shared my experience with going without power for several hours during the huge snow storm a few weeks back.
  • Analyzing Writing is more Rewarding was an entry written in response to Ong's article. I disagreed with him and explained that I see more value in figuring out the meaning behind a writing than I do in simply asking a speaker what he means by what he is saying. The second option seems like the easy way out.
  • Hiding Behind PowerPoint was a blog in which I argued that too many people use PowerPoint because the thought of a completely oral speech frightens them. I also discuss how much I appreciate that my classes at SHU are mostly discussion and rarely involve PowerPoint.
  • Storing Oral Information? was a blog entry in which I questioned exactly how orality is stored. The only concrete answer I could find was memorization, or writing. So, I really never answered the question, but I did bring up that the first real form of written language was the cuneform. Props to me for remembering something from last semester in WCT I. 
  • Verbal Interaction was a blog where I reflected on how much children's communication can show us about ancient civilizations.
  • I Think it's Deja Vu In this entry, I referred back to a previous class where I'd already talked about methods of memorization. I mentioned that music lyrics are easier to memorize than prose because of their rhythmic patterns.


  • I joined Megan in discussion on Maddie's blog entry, Capturing avid listeners with Aesopic fables I mentioned that I'd rather read poems aloud than silently, because they're technically meant to be seen rather than read, even though there is a lot of value in studying the text of a play.
  • In Tiffany's Controlled Readers & Listeners, I kind of disagreed with Tiffany, because I've always felt that readers were in more control because they can interpret texts differently.
  • Megan's Homer and the Illiad. See Xenoblogging below.
  • Chelsea's "Technology is my native tounge..." I expressed a lot of interest in Chelsea's reflection of her media fast. And we shared a brief conversation about her experience.


  • TechKnow was my only timely blog entry. However, the majority of my entries were written at least before class discussion, aside from the day when I missed class due to the snow storm.

  • TechKnow - The Link Gracious - I linked to Maddie's entry on this blog entry, because we blogged about similar topics.
  • Homer and the Illiad -The Comment Primo. Megan and I discussed why we liked specific versions of the translation, because we didn't agree initially.
  • Chelsea's  "Technology is my native tounge..."  -The Comment Primo

  • Latin vs. Anglo Saxon This entry was actually for EL 200, but the topic definitely fits in with EL 336 so I thought I'd include it in this blog.
  • Impromptu Power-outage Response was not an assigned blog entry. I wrote it because I thought my experience tied in nicely with what we were discussing in class.

I Think it's Deja Vu

 I was really pleased to see how much this chapter referred back to what we read for Tuesday. It was a lot easier for me to make connections than it has been in the past, and I was thrilled to notice that I actually talked about memory last class, which Havelock addresses in this chapter.

To return to Hesiod: the memory language of his Muse is, of course, rhythmic and in his terms is uttered in epic hexameters. The metaphors applied to their speech dwell on its liquidity, it flows, it gushes, in a steady stream. 

--Havelock, pg. 81

Like I said in class on Tuesday, before we had the ability to write stories down, we had to rely on memorizing them orally through the form of prose which was often poetic, rhythmic and rhymed. Look at epic poems like Beowulf and The Illiad were most likely memorized because they were "easier" to remember due to their shorter lines, and poetic nature. They were, poems, obviously, but this was in a time when not much else existed. There was no such thing as a novel. Even the Bible is written in verses so that they might be easier to remember.
That's also why so many songs put the main idea in their chorus, because it's repeated several times. The more it's repeated, the easier it will be to remember.
Even so, I still find it incredible that people were able to memorize such an immense amount of information without the ability to write things down. Any time I need to memorize a term or definition for a class or test, I usually write it down a few times because it forces me to soak up the information, first by reading it, then by writing it, and then repeating the process over and over again. If I have the option, I don't think I'd every choose to memorize something via reciting it multiple times. Even when I need to remember something for a speech or oral presentation, I memorize everything by reading and writing things down. Even then, I still need some sort of cues on notecards to get me rolling.

Verbal Interaction

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Does our childhood throw out any hints of rules which once governed whole societies of adults for many, many thousands of years? Take, for instance, the oft-noted desire that children have for listening to the same story again and again--a fact which even cassette manufacturers have had to take into account in dealing with the market for their products. Does it shed any light on the rules of language by which a society of primary orality lived?

--Havelock, pg 68

I suppose, in a way, we could model children after the primitive non-literate nations of old. Kids learn and memorize information solely through physical (oral) interaction with the world around them. The more times a kid is told a story, the better he'll be at reciting the story on his own at some point. I really don't have the answers to the questions posed in this chapter of The Muse Learns to Write. But Havelock definitely forces his readers to think about the power of orality. For the first five years of their lives, they are dependent on verbal communication. Sure they learn some of the basics, like the numbers and the alphabet, but on the whole, kids need that interaction in order to thrive.
This relationship between children and oral communication definitely reflects the relationship between orality and ancient civilizations. Before they learned to write things down, they had to verbally enforce all important ideas. These people had to repeat the same "stories" over and over again, like children, but not because they wanted to hear them over and over again, but because they needed to do so in order to remember everything important.

Whenever I need to memorize something, I usually write it down over and over again, so I can definitely understand why these primitive people would speak it over and over again. While I still find writing things down to be easier for memorizing, I see the value in both.

Storing Oral information?

The overall presumption is that civilizations to be worth the name have to be based on writing of some source, have to be in some degree literate ones....

How then, can orality store its information for re-use? How can it preserve its identity? Since it can support a culture without benefit of writing, what are the mechanisms that supply the material function that writing later supplies, namely the provision of linguistic information can survive.

--Havelock, pg 56

The only real answer that I can think of to this question would be the process of constant memorizing and reciting of oral stories. As we learned in Parker's piece, conversation is essential for human beings, so it would be only natural that primitive groups of people used communication to preserve their history, which is actually quite remarkable. We could never expect the same from today's society. It's hard for a college student to memorize enough material for an upcoming exam or presentation let alone memorize countless stories of their ancestors. 
Even so, I'm not sure mankind has been around for very long without the ability to log at least some information. Look at cave drawings and the cuneform, which was the first form of writing. Sure this form of writing is hardly sophisticated, but it helped preserve some information.
I hate to say this, but the only way I can really think that orality can be preserved other than passing it down through generations is to write it down, but am I just guilty of living in the technology era, where I'm dependent on being able to write stuff down to keep it forever?

Rebel Rule Breaker!

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But if you mindlessly obey all the rules all the time, you risk becoming so obsessed with them that you tie yourself in knots. And sooner or later, you will impose those rules--real or not--on others. After all, what good is learning a rule if all you can do is obey it?


--Williams, Lesson 2 pg. 11


This quote reminded me back to my high school days as a writing assistant/ copy editor for the school paper. When I was a junior, my AP English teacher had his own strict set of rules. Apart from insisting we handwrite everything except for final drafts, there were certain words he insisted we avoid like the plague. For example, he would actually doc points if we used the word "how" anywhere in a sentence. I can't even remember his reasoning behind this--all I know is that even now, almost 3 years later, I still hesitate when I type the word "how" in a sentence. He also had a problem withis using the word "it," because it was too vague. He's got a point...what exactly is it?

Years later, I still struggle with these made-up rules. I don't follow them as closely as I used to, but as a consequence, I sometimes feel guilty when I'm writing, even lazy. And, I've been know to pass these rules on to my peers during peer reviews. They probably hate me when I mark up their papers, but I can't help it. I want them to benefit from my reading, so I'm harsh sometimes.


I was really intrigued when Williams brought up the rule against starting a sentence with select words, such as "and," "but," or "because," because I almost always fit at least one of those sentences into my papers. It's just the style I write in, I guess. And quite frankly, I don't plan to change that just to fit some rule that's basically obsolete. 

As for replacing "because" with "since" at the start of my sentences, I don't foresee myself doing that anytime soon, because I personally don't like the way it sounds. I guess it's just a style preference.

On a side note, the "fewer" vs. "less" rule brought be back to memory lane again. Has anyone else noticed that all grocery stores are gramatically incorrect when they have "12 items or less" signs? If they were to follow the rule, it would be "12 items or fewer," but I guess that's too long or something? Plus, it just sounds weird...even though it's correct. Go figure.


EL 200

Hiding Behind PowerPoint

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Because PowerPoint can be an impressive antidote to fear--converting public-speaking dread into movingmaking pleasure--there seems to be no great impulse to fight this influence, as you might fight the unrelenting animated paperclip in Microsoft Word.

--Parker, in MW pg. 354

People hide behind PowerPoint. I'll be the first to admit that when I get in front of a room to present something to the class, I get clammy and shaking, and although PowerPoint doesn't completely eliminate that fear, it definitely helps. Having said that, I've sat throught enough of my peers' PowerPoints, and even a few of my Professors' PowerPoints to resent the program altogether. I'm not saying it doesn't have it's perks, but people have this horrible tendency of reading straight from the presentation, without further elaboration. I really liked when Parker mentioned the rule of Seven. Seven words per line, Seven lines per slide. Too often, I see kids and even professors read whole paragraphs from their PowerPoint presentations.

Like Nass, I like the spontaneity that PowerPoint really doesn't offer. One of the things I really love about Seton Hill is that most of my classes don't revolve around lecture and PowerPoints. They're more discussion-related, which holds my interest a lot better. As much as I hate to admit this, I fell asleep a few times last semester in one of my classes because she showed too many PowerPoints.

Whenever a professor announces that we will be having solo, or even group presentations, kids flock to computers and compose their PowerPoints. And what happens when the professor says, "Oh by the way, no PowerPoint."? Panic. Plain and simple. PowerPoint serves as a security blanket for many these days, because it's a lot easier to read from a computer screen than it is to face our peers. 

I think there's hope yet for Powerpoint, though. It has a lot of potential for spontaneity. It is the evolution of storytelling and public speaking. We just need to learn to be more interactive with our audiences when we present. I know it's scary sometimes, and it's so easy to just hide behind the PowerPoint, but if we keep that up, we're not really successfully utilizing (yes, Dr. Jerz, I know "utilize" is a generic term) the program, are we?

Analyzing Writing is more Rewarding

Secondly, Plato's Socrates complains, a written text is basically unresponsive. If you ask a person to explain his or her statement, you can get at least an attempt at explanation: if you ask a text, you get nothing except the same, often stupid words which called for your question in the first place.

--Ong in MW, pg. 319

I disagree with this statement wholeheartedly. The inability to ask the writer what he meant when he published his work is what is most appealing to literature. It forces readers and scholars to actually analyze what is being said. Sure you can analyze a speech as well, but like Socrates says, you can also just as the speaker what he meant when he said something specific.

The beauty of the written word is that a lot of it is up for interpretation. I remember talking a little bit about this in Writing About Literature. We argued as to whether or not the author's meaning really matters once it's written down. Look at poetry. A lot of literature, especially poetry, can have multiple meanings (within reason), so who are we to say which is right and wrong? And what if the author's intention isn't the best explanation?

As far as I'm concerned, asking the speaker what he meant by something he said is the easy way out. It's pure laziness. You don't have to think if you don't want to. Sure, a little bit of thinking is involved when you come up with a question, but you'd be doing a lot more thinking if you actually had to figure out what the answer was rather than simply asking for help.

Analyzing writing definitely takes more time and work, but it's also more rewarding.

Patience is a Virtue

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But the biggest reason most of us write unclearly is that we don't know when we do, much less why. Our own writing seems clearer to us than it does to our readers, because we read into what we want them to get out of it. And so instead of revising our writing to meet their needs, we send it off the moment it meets ours.

--Williams, pg. 5

This is definitely true for me. When I'm writing a paper, I have this really bad tendency of not rereading the final draft before submitting it for grading. I'm just really impatient. I can't wait to get it over with. Recently, I've realized that if I take a few minutes to read the draft out loud it really helps me to fix at least some of my clarity issues. If I'm really being a perfectionist, I'll print out a copy of the final draft and then pull out my red pen and mark it up like it's a peer's paper. I'll look for all the things that ruin my paper. Here's a short list of some of the things I think weakens my papers, as well as my peers:

  • passive voice
  • use of the words "it"  and "thing"  What is it? What is a thing?   Wayyyy too vague
  • lack of transitions from paragraph to paragraph
Like Cody, I thought it would be a good idea to take a look at the last major paper I wrote for college, my research essay for EL 250.


Violent video games should not be played by our youth until they are mature enough to understand the difference between reality and a video game.


Until they reach enough maturity to understand the difference between reality and a video game, children should not play violent video games.


Although violent video games are too mature for our youth, they are also keeping our kids off the streets.


Although violent video games are too mature for our youth, they keep the kids off of the streets.


Video games, both violent and non-violent are going to continue to be a part of our lives, and as technology advances further, children are going to have an even more difficult time differentiating between what is real and not, so it is essential for parents, game designers and society to keep an eye out for our youth to keep them on the right path.


Video games, regardless of violence level, continue to influence our lives. s technology advances, children will no longer be able to differentiate between reality and video games. Parents, game designers and society must look out for our youth, because these kids need all the support they can get.

Impromptu Power-outage Response

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It's so ironic that the snow storm left me without power for almost a full day less than a week after our discussion about the Amish and their ability to live fulfilling lives without technology or public electricity.

So, in light of this recent development, I thought I'd blog about my experience.

I was miserable.

I wish I could put it some other way, but the fact remains that I really wasn't all that pleasant to be around. All I wanted to do was go to sleep, but my dad insisted that we "bond" and spend time together. Mom was stuck in Belle Vernon for the night because of her job. We lost power around 7:30 p.m. Friday night, only to get it back for a few short hours from 11 p.m. to who knows when it decided to go out while I was sleeping. We went without power for the rest of the morning until around 2 p.m.-ish when it finally kicked back on.

We found candles easily enough...but we couldn't find matches...go figure. When we finally did illuminate our house with pretty little candles, I found myself using my digital camera to take pictures of the candlelight. Couldn't resist...I tried reading by candlelight, but it just made my eyes hurt...I really don't know how they [the Amish] do it.

If I hadn't had my iPhone, I think I would've gone absolutely mad. It was my only contact with the outside world. I kept checking the weather and posting on Facebook about how miserable I was. I could've used my laptop to play a game, but I was afraid to waste the battery, because at that point, it was my only means of charging my cellphone. 

When the power came back on that night, my dad glued himself to the television and while I decided to go to sleep and charge my electronic essentials (iPhone and MacBook). I awoke the next morning to dad screaming at someone (my mom) on the phone about not having power anymore...again. So he drove out to Belle Vernon to pick my mom up, because her car was stuck under a foot and a half of snow. 

I spent the morning doing non-technological things...I read magazines for my Magazine Writing class. I talked with my mom and gram. We sat by the gas-powered fireplace that my gram's convinced is giving us carbon monoxide poisoning. Mom and I played some board games: the Game of Life and Monopoly. I won both. :-) We actually got along pretty well without power during the day. My aunt called and told us she'd heard we shouldn't expect electricity until Feb. 12...ouch.

And then...the house phone rang. "Oh the phone's ringing! We have power!" Mom exclaimed. Meanwhile Gram was actually standing over the vent and didn't even notice the warm air blowing on her legs. If the phone hadn't rang, I'm not sure we would've even noticed. We actually got used to our lack of technology.

Podcasts saved Oral Tradition

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The technology of electronis, so thoroughly acoustic, [McLuhan] argued, reintroduced a nonlinear and richer form of communication and so perhaps of experience, reviving forms that had existed, he implied, before human communication had felt the deadening hand of print.

--The Muse Learns to Write, pg 27

I never really thought of technology this way, as a form of revival for orality. It makes sense though, because look at how popular audio books have become in the past decade or so. In a way, technology worked in the opposite way for orality and literature that television did for the radio. "Video Killed the Radio Star" but Podcasts revived the tradition of telling stories orally. It's just more convenient sometimes to listen rather than to read. 

Note: This blog is unfinished.

Revive Shorthand!

Cicero chose clerks who excelled in rapid writing instruction in the use of signs, which, in small and short figures, comprised the force of many letters; these clerks he had then distributed in various parts of the Senate House. For up to that time the Romans did not employ or even possess what are called shorthand writers, but then for the first time, we are told, the first steps toward the practice were taken.

--Anthony 'Di Renzo, "His Master's Voice: Tiro and the Rise of the Roman Secretarial Class"

Aside from providing an interesting history lesson, this article also explicates the importance of two practices: copying oral conversation into transcript and using shorthand.

We've come a long way since the days of Cicero and Tiro, but it's incredible that their practice of oral dictation and shorthand recording lasted through the ages. It has opened so doors for us, and not just in the court room. The ability to transcribe direct quotes from speeches as well as personal interviews. However, what's truly remarkable was Tiro's invention of shorthand, as explained by Di Renzo in his article. Although shorthand is not as popular as it once was, the basic principles have evolved.

While the politicians and judges of Cicero's time needed people like Tiro to copy down everything said in the court room or during Senate meetings, modern leaders hire typists to copy all of the information and discussion during meetings and hearings. Although we could argue that it's more effective to simply use a voice recorder to create a copy of the meetings, we still must see the importance in visualizing what as actually said. Sometimes it's just easier to read through notes than it is to replay hours of audio for a specific line.

I've always been interested in learning short hand. I remember one of my old Nancy Drew games (yes, I'm slightly obsessed) taught the basics, but at the time I was too young to really understand the magnitude of such a skill. Some might argue that shorthand is a thing of the past and we have new and improved technology to do the job for us, but personally, sometimes I really wish I could just write in shorthand during interviews, because I have a bad tendency to copy down everything my interviewee has to say. Word for word. I guess I could technically google shorthand and learn it on my own, but maybe I'm just a little too lazy for that...And I suppose that abbrv. is a form of shorthand, but something tells me it's just not as effective...

Having said that, check out this new technology offered by LiveScribe. This Pen/Recorder combo, called the Pulse SmartPen, not only lets you write legitimate notes, it also records any audio and syncs it to your notes. If the merchandise wasn't so expensive (149.99 for the 1G Pen, plus who knows how much paper/ink required), I'd think of investing in one to benefit my interviewing skills. Regardless of it's practical nature, it's definitely proof that we've come a long way since Cicero and Tiro...

Latin vs. Anglo-Saxon

The words derived from Latin are the enemy--they will strangle and suffocate everything you write. The Anglo-Saxon words will set you free...

Reading this brought me back to a topic I discussed in Dr. Jerz's J-Term EL 250 Video Game Culture and Theory course a few weeks ago. In a discussion about Children's Online Game play and Policies, we found ourselves analyzing Terms of Service Agreements (TOS). In my blog, as well as many of my peer's blogs, we acknowledged that many TOS agreements are bogged down with tons of technical jargon that no one understands or really cares to. A great example, which I included in my other entry is the NeoPets TOS. Unlike most websites, this one offers two TOS agreements--a "kid-friendly" version and the "full" version. In the "kid-friendly" version, they use smaller words, Algo-Saxon words, if you will. But, in the "full" version, they fill the text with Latin-based words that cause people to just hit "I agree" without wasting their time.

On a lighter note, it makes sense that Zinsser would have a problem with the longer, more complicated Latin-based words. When we write journalism pieces, we're encouraged to not necessarily "dumb-down" our prose, but to simply make it understandable by as large of an audience as possible.

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