Archive for December, 2011

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Language as a Reflection of Cultural Shifts, Part 2

By Richard Firsten
Retired ESOL Teacher, Teacher-Trainer, Columnist, Author

In my previous piece for “Teacher Talk,” I focused on English grammar and usage in the spoken language as reflections of cultural shifts.  What I’d like to focus on now has to do with a cultural as well as an educational shift over the past several years. I’m talking about certain aspects of punctuation with people not taking care anymore to punctuate according to tradition. This trend may also be happening because of the sloppy way people write when they send e-mails and text messages. Let’s look at some items that seem to be casualties of the ever-increasing loss or downgrading of language arts programs at least in American schools and the influence of electronic toys used for written communication.

First off, there’s the hyphen. Punctuation marks were created to aid readers, to make phrasing clearer and more easily recognizable for readers. Here’s a case in point. If I write here Man Eating Crocodile, which picture below reflects what I’ve written?












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