Thursday, March 03, 2011

Twitter and the decline of western civilisation

Some of you will have noticed that I now, occasionally, 'tweet', but I must admit I still don't really see the benefit of it. I set up my Twitter account because other folk encouraged me to (otherwise it would probably never have happened). There are those who blame Twitter, and things like txt-spk, for accelerating the plummeting standards of literacy. I was told today by a client that 80% of the adults in the world either can't read, or can't be bothered to read. So taking a message of any kind to the general public is going to get tougher as years go by - a public used to screens and brevity rather than paper and detail.

The pic below is the cover of a book published in 1896, 'Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress in words of one syllable'. The irony here is that Bunyan is generally known for his simplicity of language, yet the publishers of this book needed to simplify it even further. The book doesn't say who it was aimed at - children, or adults who struggled with literacy - but it's a valuable example that, regardless of what century we live in, communication needs to be clear and easy to understand.


Billy Graham's grandson, Tullian Tchividjian, does a great job on Twitter, distilling the essence of the Gospel down to 140 characters or less. Click here to see for yourself.

Interestingly, and as a paradox to the rest of this post, I've been surprised by the amount of secular, mainstream media admiration for the rich, yet archaic, language of the King James Bible which has already appeared across the media this year. I like the KJV as I was raised on it, and memorised a fair bit of it when I was wee. But I thought it was going to take a hammering this year, rather than be praised!


Colin Maxwell said...

Mark, You weren't "raised" on the AV. You were "reared" or "rared" on it. "Dinnae forget the boul ye were baked in..."