February 29, 2008

Doomed by poor spelling and rampant racism etc.

Stanford Daily columnist Nat Hilliard writes today, in a column entitled "Good riddance" (p. 4), about the government of Pakistan's blocking access within the country to YouTube.com, which Hilliard characterizes as a "horrible, horrible Web site", indeed "our society's worst cultural creation since hampsterdance.com".  Harsh words.  Hilliard goes on to see the site as a threat to our very language:

... if the comments below the videos are any indication, the English language itself is doomed.  The poor spelling and the rampant racism, sexism, anti-semitism and penis references are enough to make any first grade English teacher weep.

Poor English!  Not only is it threatened by creeping bad grammar, unfortunate word choices, and poor spelling and punctuation, but now it's doomed by being used to express distasteful social attitudes.  English teachers are weeping openly.  What's a language to do?

Ah, Hilliard has sounded the alarm too late.

(Photo passed on a long time ago by Geoff Nunberg and archived for use on this sad occasion.)

Posted by Arnold Zwicky at February 29, 2008 04:33 PM