words - interrupted

I don't watch much television, but the little that I do see reminds me that society has just as much potential to regress as progress.

I just recently saw this ad by AT&T where the mother starts talking to her daughter (and mother?!) in text-speak. I actually found the clip on splendAd, called "IDK Scrabble."
http://www.youtube.com/v/zb7wRxXTZK8

So, the mom concedes defeat as a parent, but then AT&T tells us we should all be so lucky: now, it's FREE. That's just what I'm hoping for when I have kids someday - free defeat.

REALLY? Are we really okay smashing a bunch of letters together in place of thoughtful, intellectual conversation?

Today just after I finished up work I got a phone call from a fellow 'classically inclined' book clubber. We are reading "A Clergyman's Daughter" by George Orwell right now and he shared his sincere interest in the imagery, style, and character development. Our discussion lasted no more than 15 minutes, but when I got off the phone I felt a bit inspired. He mentioned this idea of 'the dumbing down of American society,' that we use so few words now and miss the weight of reality by doing so.

Words communicate ideas. If the only ideas we have running through our heads can be communicated by a string of disjointed letters, how much progress are we really making?