I don’t know about you but I am a big fan of the English language. I have been speaking English most of my life and even decided to write this article in English, but I am worried that our language is vanishing before our eyes.
One of the foundations of the English language is the written form. After you know how to speak it, you should learn how to read and write it, but alas, that is the first part of the disappearing act. Let me ask you this, how were the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Emancipation Proclamation presented? They were hand written in cursive writing so that everybody could read them but now, cursive is disappearing.
Cursive writing is no longer being taught in school. Gone forever are the giant cursive letters displayed above the blackboard. Heck, no longer is there a blackboard.
Cursive writing is how we learned our ABCs, but imagine this sentence written in cursive. The kids would have to take the sentence and scan it into the Google translator just to know what it means.
Cursive has been replaced by the keyboard, which can present you with a variety of fonts but it is impersonal and does not convey the same sentiment of pen put to paper. Plus, if kids don’t know cursive, what is their signature going to look like? Will it be a mark or in all block letters? And how do the kids pass notes to each other? Oh, that’s right, they don’t. They text. Things like this bother me.
Point number two: All of our good words are disappearing. When was the last time you used words like rapscallion, alliterative, or conjunctivitis? My point exactly. The more words we don’t use, the more we lose. Soon, we will become a nation of monosyllabic misfits.
And the more words we lose, the more they add, and by “they” I mean the fine folks at Oxford Dictionary. The Oxford folks, who make fine footwear, decided this year to add an emoji to the dictionary. An emoji is not a word, it is a picture, and there are hundreds of them out there. Just google “Emoji” and you can see them all.
The chosen emoji this year is a yellow smiley face with tears coming from its eyes. It is meant to depict “tears of joy.” Really? We need a picture to denote tears of joy? Apparently we do, just like we need one to denote sadness, anger, or happiness.
A smily face wearing sunglasses is the emoji for “cool.” A smiley face with its tongue out to the side means either silly or horny, which are two things you do not want to get confused. And a smily face with Xs for eyes means that you are dead. Well, let me put an X over the I in English because emojis are out to ruin us.
Eventually we will become a language of only pictures as English is replaced by the new hieroglyphics. Our only hope is that in a few thousand years somebody will uncover the Rosetta Thumb Drive which will translate the emojis back into cursive.
We have to fight this takeover my friends, so I call for a ban on all emojis and renewed support for the English language. It’s all we can do to keep the mother tongue alive. (winking smiley face)