Wednesday, March 17, 2010

i had a dream and it was called the new language of the world

in the dream, this woman had claimed that all of the babbling and gurgling of babies or maybe gorillas was a language. she had broken down all of the guttural sounds into syllables so that she could stand in front of crowds of people who had paid her some hefty fee to learn what she was hearlading as "the new language of the world". as far as i can tell, the seminars seemed quite popular and the participants happy, despite my dream-self knowing it was all a sham, and obviously so.

it brought to mind the work i've been doing for the past few months in conjunction with what we are collectively building. last week, we worked individually or in groups to create a representation of reading using a number of materials, including video (caputured and created) and audio (captured and created) in lieu of pure text.

the main qualifier for a language is a grammar, which is essentially a set of rules that lay out what is and what is not language, as well as means of constructing its parts in a meaningful manner (not to be mistaken with conventions, which require two or more individuals to exist and function whereas rules only require a single individual but can be maintained by an infinite number of people). if we were to group all familiar tongues (french, spanish, german, english, dutch, etc, etc,) and their written and spoken forms in order to argue that these, in fact, were languages, we would still be hard pressed to explain the systems within these languages function. the means of transmitting language when not face-to-face has been constantly evolving alongside the rapid growth of television. a progression from letter writing to telegrams to telephones to radio to television to internet and now we're seeing and speaking to random strangers in china on chatroulette. things are mighty difference.

for a brief ending, i will argue that the new language of today has nothing to do with abandoning our knowledge of the english language, but rather using it in a new manner embracing the constant movement of technological possibilities. there is a reason that facebook is the secon

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