|Published December 14, 2006.|
|...theres some thing in us it dont have no name...it aint us but yet its in us. Its looking out thru our eye hoals.
...I cud feal it in the guts and barrils of me. You try to make your self 1 with some thing or some body but try as you wil the 2ness of every thing is working agenst you all the way. You try to take holt of the 1ness and it comes in 2 in your hans.
These are quotes from the novel Riddley Walker by Russell Hoban.
Lately I have been getting really agitated with the devolution of the English language as it is used on teh intrwebs. This has become our primary medium for communication and exchange of information. But try to read something on line that wasn't written by a professional journalist, and you are very likely to find something eerily similar to the quotes above. Quotes from a novel that was written in 1976, long before there was an internet to speak of.
Does anyone else find this astonishing?
The interesting thing is, Hoban was deliberately manipulating the language to make a point. He has said, in relation to the novel Riddley Walker, that he tried to make words mean more than one thing whenever possible.
Unfortunately, I don't think we should be looking for subtle metaphor in the maunderings of internet savvy illiterates. I think the lesson to be gleaned from this linguistic coincidence is that we may not need a nuclear holocaust to descend into post-apocalyptic squalor. It will happen quite organically, and the devolution of language may be the first signpost on the road to hell.