The Null Device

The daily grunt

The British government official in charge of educational standards claims that a decline in family conversations is responsible for today's primary school students have the worst language skills in memory. Family conversations have devolved to a "daily grunt", a monosyllabic exchange, under pressure from long working hours and a TV-centred lifestyle. (via FmH)

(I wonder how this will tie in with the rise of the Internet and mobile phones; could we see a generation who have inarticulate verbal communication skills but can SMS rings around anyone today; a brave new world of grunting, nimble-thumbed cyber-cavemen? The interpersonal skills of a borderline-autistic IRC junkie could be the norm within a decade.)

There are 4 comments on "The daily grunt":

Posted by: Ritchie http:// Sun Jan 12 13:20:05 2003

I think real events have overtaken your predictions; someone was telling me about an 'SMS-contest' run a while back. Apparently the organiser was inspired by the spectacle of a checkout-chick putting his groceries through with one hand whilst messaging friends with the other.

Posted by: acb Sun Jan 12 13:43:06 2003

But those people still rely on verbal communication a lot with friends. Extrapolate this a bit, and we may yet see a generation of "mole people" who are enmeshed in electronic communication but don't get the idea of eye contact or personal space. We may see friends texting each other through personal Bluetooth networks as they walk down the street, or even the idea of spending time physically with people (as opposed to within range of them) becoming old-fashioned.

Posted by: Graham Sun Jan 12 14:17:48 2003

Ahh, the digitals vs the verbals again...

Posted by: acb Sun Jan 12 14:19:49 2003

And then there's the neo-luddite backlash, and "if you don't know what someone smells like, they're a stranger".

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