Video

Been wondering about writing versus video these days. Our champion blogger, Darren Rowse of ProBlogger fame is even tempted, suggesting in recent posts that he really likes creating little videos as opposed to writing his thoughts. It’s certainly accessible to the viewer, pandering to our tv tastes and lessening the need for reading and writing accuracy.

I specialize in writing and yet often suspect that writing is simply going out of style. Those who can do it well are rare; those who can’t seldom recognize (or care about) the need for help and go ahead and publish garbled grammar, ridiculous spelling, and pathetic syntax – or they make a video! Why bother with writing? The lack of respect for excellence is writing is clearly reflected in the classified ads, where writing assistance is requested for much less compensation than you’d give your babysitter.

Of course the general demise of poetry over the course of the 20th century foreshadowed this loss of respect. With hip hop being the only well known and appreciated form of poetry in our society, it’s accurate to say the genre’s life is almost done. Since poetry is the ultimate linguistic expression, we can expect other forms of written language will similarly disappear.

I’d like to defend reading and writing, because I was suckled on them and love them both as major supports for my life. But I’m old, and others will bear the standard into the future. Imagine a world where all communications are in video. Would you miss the experience of reading? Would there be things that are inexpressible digitally, that would be lost in a world without writing?

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