Sunday, June 10, 2012

Is Language Dead?

Well, it finally happened!  I bought a new electronic gadget, actually, for this blog.  It's called a "Bloggie,"  What it is, is a tiny high def video camera that is so small you can stick it in the pocket of your jeans.  If someone doesn't beat me up for recording their body  motions, I'll be providing examples of body language as time goes by.

Now,  get this!  The directions for using the Bloggie consist of a movie that starts playing when you first turn it on.  Using no language whatsoever, it shows how to hold the device, what buttons to push, how to transfer videos onto your computer, etc.

Truthfully, there is a .PDF file that gets deposited on your computer when you install the Bloggie.  This has a 77 page manual with captions under each picture, but I have a feeling that most buyers of the Sony Bloggie won't bother plowing through the  manual.  In any event, clearly the how-to wordless movie is intended to be a complete manual in itself--and it is,

So, you teachers who exert effort into getting students to follow verbal instructions might think instead of emphasizing pictures showing how to do things. 

Strange thought.  Humans evolved so they could convey in words how, when and where to do things, and now we're moving backwards to a pre-verbal state

1 comment:

Brenda F. Bell said...

Look at it a different way: it is (at best) highly impractical for any human or small group of humans to be technically conversant in every language currently used as a "native-or-only language" by humans. A visual demonstration avoids the requirement of having to provide dozens of parallel translations, any of which could be misinterpreted to results less hilarious than "Chinglish".