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So What Else Is New?

Posted By: Dick Schutz on September 17, 2003
The article reveals more about the author than it does about the generation. Throughout history, older people have complained that younger people are “going to the dogs” and that they “show no respect.” In our rapidly changing technological world, of course people “change.” But generalizing from one’s own anecdotal experience to characterize a broad phenomenon amounts to scholarly rubbish. (It’s not fair!)

Take the matter of grammer (sic). The advent of word- processing and e-mail is effecting changes in spelling, punctuation, and other aspects of written communication. As always, the youngsters rather than the oldsters are in the forefront in adapting to the environmental changes. (Something about evolution?) Incidentally, there are spelling and grammatical errors in the article and in the comments, including this one.

Youngsters are the first to see through, or at least sense, the hypocrisies/inconsistencies in abstractions and actions such as “democracy,” “courtesy,” “freedom.” Everyday schooling, in particular, is rife with these inconsistencies. Their juvenile way of expressing their juvenile understanding may be “in your face,” but that phrase does not do justice to the complexity of the phenomenon. Reconsider the instance of the server “rudely” informing the customer that s/he might be getting drunk. “Friends don’t let friends drink.” Right? However crude the expression, the server may have been a better “friend” than the friend.

Can’t we all just communicate? Nope. That’s not the way it works. IMHO current teaching should instruct kids in the various modes and conventions of “acceptable” communication. For example, one mode is in one's best interest in communicating with friends, another in completing a job application, writing for publication, etc. Teach them how to adapt rather than taking personal offence to their misplaced "confidence." ):-

Dick Schutz
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 So What Else Is New? by Dick Schutz on September 17, 2003
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