Ralph Fiennes (Image via RottenTomatoes.com)
It has become something of a celebrity trend to bash Twitter (and usually celebrities that don’t use the social network). This time, it’s actor and director Ralph Fiennes, who blames Twitter for the downfall of the English language.
He said “We’re in a world of truncated sentences, soundbites and Twitter.”
”[Language] is being eroded — it’s changing. Our expressiveness and our ease with some words is being diluted so that the sentence with more than one clause is a problem for us, and the word of more than two syllables is a problem for us.”
“I hear it, too, from people at drama schools, who say the younger intake find the density of a Shakespeare text a challenge in a way that, perhaps, [students] a few generations ago maybe wouldn’t have.”
Now, I’m not sure who Ralph has viewed on Twitter (if anyone has at all), but it is full of editors, journalists, PRs, bloggers and entrepreneurs. People who have a fairly good, if not fanatical, grasp of the English language. The 140 character limit might pose a slight problem, but most of us manage to struggle on without resorting to text language.
I’d agree that social media is making text language more widespread, or at least more visible. The ease of sending a quick tweet can mean we suffer from the odd spelling mistake or missing apostrophe. Issues with language are possibly more rife on Facebook. Particularly with teenagers, but that’s what teenagers do.
What do you think? Is Twitter the reason the English language is on the demise?