Friday, November 16, 2012

Troubling bumps …

… The American Scholar: Language Matters - Michael Dirda.

1 comment:

  1. Methinks he doth protest too much. Michael Dirda's self-conscious riff on writing overlooks something (perhaps) worth noting (or he said it in a way that I overlooked--which is part of the tongue-in-cheek irony about writing and reading): Language--both spoken and written--is constantly evolving (as Dirda suggests by citing all of his antecedents and abandoned style books), which means that former rules are abandoned and replaced with new rules.

    However, just as I write that, I am conscious of something like an irony involved in the abandonment and replacement concept: students in my literature and drama classes write with an irksome and reckless abandon as they replace (and ignore) my rules and instead writing according to their own idiosyncratic rules. And I am left with wondering--as I grade papers--if my views of writing are now on the verge of being completely abandoned and replaced.

    The bottom line (finally, you say, now that you are weary of my parentheticals, dashes, and colons) is this: writers writing now who will be read in six hundred years will be regarded as positively medieval. So, don't protest so much, Dirda!