12:08 p.m. - 2013-04-14
I found a flashcard for the word was,
Rotten carpet still protected by fragments
You could not fathom how abundant it seemed,
I tried to imagine who would hate a thing which could not do harm
I made you to take the force of what I could not understand
-A Nod to Jane Fonda
Grammar is language's physical fitness. I was having a conversation today, which became delightfully heated, and this subject came up. Grammar isn't imperative to communication under ordinary conditions. Much as physical fitness isn't really needed under normal conditions. We have machines for lifting, carrying and pumping, for esoteric concerns like washing and mixing and heating. We've eliminated a lot of toil from our lives, and subsequently many of us are no longer fit to perform those jobs. I can no more haul the water I use in a day up my slightly inclined back yard than I can walk to my job or heat my own home. I lack the physical and mental fitness to perform these tasks.
Just like physical fitness, grammar no longer has the importance it once had. Before the Great Network, ambiguity had to be solved by shuttling paper back and forth physically or trying to track someone down on things called 'landlines'. Prior to that it was nearly impossible to solve an ambiguity without making a pilgrimage to the wise one who's thoughts you are trying to come to terms with. Preserving levels of clarity needed to communicate without presence is analogous to body building: It looks pretty and may come in useful if the system doesn't hold you up (it is mortal, just like its makers) but it doesn't actually have a purpose any more. And just like those bastards in my gym classes in high school, I look at a lazily formed idea and feel the amalgam of pity, disgust and lost potential that I detected in the eyes of my instructor.
Which makes me a bastard as well.