The Language of Decline

Apr 9, 2012 by

The words we choose when speaking and writing to one another indicate a great deal about the infancy, maturity and decline of society. When reading the letters of early Americans it is evident that the words they used were crafted for content, detail, and exactness of meaning. They also addressed each other in respectful terms. Even when they were being stern, it was with a respectful tone. As America matured, the language remained much the same. In the last forty years, I believe it has declined sharply. Do we respect each other?

Greetings have become informal and even vulgar. What happened to Mr. or Mrs. as a term of respect? We use first names when we meet people as if they are old friends and have built a relationship of friendship and trust. Is it polite to great older people with respect because they have earned it through acquired knowledge and accomplishment? Is not that relationship earned? We use words to greet each other like dude, and dog. Are we animals and things or people? The use of vulgar terms replace our names with sentiments of disrespect for humanity. Is this just societies attempt to strip perceived class distinctions and promote a common playing field? Are we confusing commonality with equality?

The use of vulgarity as an acceptable form of communication is also steadily increasing. Using vulgar words or expressions demonstrates an absence of proper vocabulary, and yes, I dare say, intelligence. Vulgar words show nothing except a lack of character.

Whatever the reasons for this change in language it can only lead to disconnect, further stripping away our individuality based on our earned character. It is more important that we honor and respect each other than to reduce each other to the most common denominator.

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