Do Linguists Have Fun, too?

Fresh Air is getting stale

ok, some random stranger person called me on my cell phone to tell me that NPR’s Fresh Air was doing a piece on blogging. (listen in Real Audio) This Nunberg guy’s pieces always have this strange fatalistic tone to them– as if the evolution of language over the years has specifically contributed to the debasement of civilization. err something. But then, as if he hadn’t spent the past two and a half minutes ripping up whatever subject he’s talking about, he always has some hopeful thought for the future of such-and-such… you get the sense that this guy doesn’t spend time enjoying the here-and-now.

…the only thing bloggers seem to have in common, is that they have a lot of time on their hands, and an exhibitionist streak…

god, his tone of voice when he says that betrays his elitism and, dare I say, his generation. We know which side of the culture war that he’s on.

Still, I’m not going to deny his points, nor am I worthy of mounting a complicated defense of ‘blogging’… I think that blogging is just another democratic extension of the spirit and freedom that the internet offers. Nunberg admits this, but you get the sense that he doesn’t see in it much inherit value. I know there are good blogs, bad blogs, depressing blogs, and joyous blogs.

Yet, there is something inherently American in it, I think. In so far as anything can be such a thing.

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