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Exclamations, pointedly

Posted by Bob on June 26, 2001

In Reply to: Exclamations, pointedly posted by Patty on June 23, 2001

: : : : Just heard this expression/phrase. Thought I'd share. The reference was to a member of the hip-hop generation.

: : : : Being someone just a shade younger than the Woodstock generation, I find myself wondering if the kids currently in their 20s are any more immature, impudent, obdurate, or sarcastic than previous generations of young people. Must say I find this question as interesting to contemplate as the phrase -- maybe more so. - Patty

: : : I try not to generalize, as members of each generation vary. Still, I think young people now are more pessimistic than young people back then; they have less reason to believe the future will improve on the present. And every time I see a query posted here that looks like this:

: : : what does this word mean????!!!! need help please!!!!!!!!!!!

: : : I can't avoid thinking "Teenager."

: : Right you are. The use of the ! is rampant among the post-literate young, who cannot find words of sufficient power and precision to express themselves. Feeble ideas and shopworn phrases (borrowed from television) are propped up with the artificial crutches of extraneous punctuation, underscoring, all-cap shouting, and similar crimes. The math is simple 1 vigorous verb + 1 carefully-selected noun = ! x 1000
: : Period.

: The point here being? I mean, is post-literacy related to brattitude? Is there something wrong with being post-literate, or is it just the way things will now be, given TVs & computers? Does it relate at all to highschool shootings?(cringe) Do these post-punk/hip-hop kids grow out of their inarticulate phase, or is it a "for life" condition? - Patty

Post-literacy is a condition we must live with and adjust to. As a fact of life, those of us who Create Content (as it were) must now use more visual language, directed at spectators, and less Text, directed at participants. It's neither good nor bad... but it you raise kids, it's worthwhile to keep them literate, as they will automatically become part of an elite.

I believe the whole spectrum-of-hostility thing (from simple incivility on one end, to the implied violence in hip-hop lyrics, gradually increasing into physical violence on the other end) is another matter altogether, although it's deeply part of the culture, too. It could be reversible in a generation or two.