To read about F's and my London trip, start here and click "newer post" to continue the story.

Friday, November 18, 2005

This makes me ill. It's an article about summarizing classics in text messages so kids will read them.

Okay, first, this is stupid. I remember that when F was reading Jane Eyre and we were talking about it, R mentioned that he had never read it. (It is kind of a chick book.) I began summarizing the plot for him, thought I would do it in a few succinct sentences, and you know what? That is one complex piece of literature. And they are going to reduce this to text messages?

Second, I'm not sure it's a good idea to encourage kids to read this way. I have come to the conclusion that written and spoken English are really two different languages. If I recall correctly, it's been determined that people who sound words in their heads read more slowly than people who let the words go straight from their eyes into their brains. When words are spelled phonetically, rather than the way we are used to seeing them, it forces us to sound the word as we read.

(I have to say, though, that sometimes when I read something written by someone I know, I can hear their voice in my head, especially if the wording is very colloquial.)

Here's proof:

Acocdrnig to an elgnsih unviesitry sutdy the oredr of letetrs in a wrod dosen't mttaer, the olny thnig thta's iopmrantt is that the frsit and lsat Ltteer of eevry word is in the crcreot ptoision. The rset can be jmbueld and one is stlil able to raed the txet wiohtut dclftfuiiy.*

You can read that easily, right? Try pronouncing it and see if it's understandable.

Finally, if things are to be simplified and scrunched together, I vote for this.

*This has been all over the internet, and I don't know how to credit it properly.

No comments: