I was talking with a reporter friend about a business card (for a handyman) that said “Call an u can save $$!” She was rather bothered by the fact that the person with the card had used an over and and u over you. She did not even get into the use of two “$” rather than the use of the word money, but she was very offended by the card. She explained that words and communication were her life, and that it made her upset to see people not using the English language correctly.
Before becoming a GEDI I would have agreed with her 100%, but I did not. I told her that we were behind the times and needed to realized that with new technology comes new forms of communication. I cannot wait until I am over an entire class and afforded the opportunity to teach this. I personally do not like texting, but I really want to give an assignment that asks for it. I know that part of what scares me with my own thesis is the formality of it. Maybe we are doing students a disservice when we ask them to write formally, or we could be doing them a favor. I know I have read a lot of cover letters in my lifetime and that I never hired a single person who used “don’t!” Learning is so much more than what we make it. Jobs aside, could we be stifling learning with formality?
I have another good friend who works with special education students in the local schools. She love to quote famous thinkers about how a hammer does not work as a knife or vise versa. How many brains are we forcing to work formally that do not. What is being missed by limiting the ways Rainman can communicate? The limitations on communication could be a true hinderance on learning. The way new forms of technology have opened up the world to people that in the past would have been institutionalized is proof enough for me! There has to be a fine line, and students need to know that they are communicating in different languages, but I think there is a way to get more out of students by letting them use as much or as little formal English as they please.
In the end my reporter friend agreed with me, and has had several discussions about the topic with her colleagues. Most of them have been blown away by the idea, and eventually welcomed it.
idk how i feel. do u no what 2 think? what will 2morrow b?