I often don’t like the mass’ approach to communication. I don’t like the idea of dumbing things down or fitting in, be it conversation or print. It represents everything that I don’t particularly like about education and governance-playing to the least common denominator. If I read something that doesn’t make sense because of its complex lexicon, then I consider that my fault.
That stands as the essence of a responsible life. One in control of his or her life sees situations as an effect of successes or failures in his or her ability to control them. Blaming, excuses and apathy are a weak response to someone’s personal failures. Persons always seeing reason as mere excuses to an outcome are not intelligent enough to discern between good reasoning and bad reasoning. One of my worst fears is when such eunuchs of intellect are actually given positions of leadership.
Another thing I criticize in communication is the over-distilling of writing to the point where it becomes flavorless, dribbling, letters. Sometimes I enjoy weaving mazes of words, because they challenge both the reader and writer and a mutual rapport is established. Have you ever read great English writers of the past? Even as a modern English speaker I can find difficulties at time in pushing through it, but upon completion I feel fulfilled. That may be quite telling of our modern language, when we are depriving our minds of any true linguistic challenge. Consider the simple fact that an average novel can be chewed through in a day or two, and any text of great substance can take a month of dedicated readership.
If I have a pet-peeve, beyond not replacing the toilet-paper roll, I would have to say it is in the dumbing down of my writings. I realize that all things have a time and a place, but I never see the sense in calling writing a language art, if it is to be bound by nameless, faceless rules. I fully understand the difference between active and passive voice. If I write something in one or the other, it is probably because I give the audience enough respect to spare them a blunt instrument of a sentence. Maybe you could call it literary foreplay.
All of this being said, if I do have any audience in this, I enourage everyone to take the high road. Don’t lower your standards and expect not excellence, but the change in what is considered acceptable in our language–while it still has some life in it. That in itself would be excellent.