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  #1    
Old January 28th, 2014 (05:21 AM).
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My ENC 1102 teacher was telling me that our generation has the lowest vocabulary since the caveman times. I don't know if this is 100% true. If someone could verify this with a link that'd be awesome.

However, the point is, in the past the advancements of technology were used to discover new things and to further our understanding with the world. Now it seems like most of the advancements that we have today just go to things we enjoy and we don't spend enough time learning about the things that are important. I'm not saying I want to learn about that or anything, but if curriculums were harder, it probably wouldn't hurt.

By the way, if the teenage generation now has the lowest vocabulary, it will only go downhill.

Thoughts?
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Old January 28th, 2014 (05:33 AM).
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Old January 28th, 2014 (05:46 AM). Edited January 28th, 2014 by Limerent.
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I think the fact that you managed to express this concept with more than "HURDURR YOLO SWAG DOGE SUCH WOW LIKE FOR A TBH" means we're going to be ok, for a little while at least. I read a lot of books as a child and would consider myself and people like you to have a decent vocabulary, it is however a concern that basic education is not of a higher enforcable standard and that society as a whole does not encourage sophisticated use of language, quite the opposite in fact, it's now common to talk ghetto whilst even using basic sentence structure and grammar is not a norm.

All language changes over time but our internet generation is leading to some very lazy degenerations. I hate most abbreviations, will it kill you to take a few more seconds to formulate a proper string of words?

I really hope that your English teacher is spouting prudish hearsay, this whole internet gets a little more refined and that most people are well educated and well versed in their speech. If you look on the lowest common denominators on websites like Facebook you can see why he thinks some of us are little more than cavemen
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Old January 28th, 2014 (05:51 AM). Edited January 28th, 2014 by CarcharOdin.
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It is my heartfelt opinion on the issue at hand that a guy using an overtly sophisticated and grandiose vocabulary has significant inadequacies in his sense of self-worth and reproductive prowess.
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Old January 28th, 2014 (06:18 AM).
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Quote originally posted by CarcharOdin:
It is my heartfelt opinion on the issue at hand that a guy using an overtly sophisticated and grandiose vocabulary has significant inadequacies in his sense of self-worth and reproductive prowess.
Yes shallow and pedantic. ಠ_ರೃ

Seriously though when I'm talking with people (especially in person) my brain often struggles to find the next word so just I use whatever comes to mind as long as it makes sense. Sometimes this leads to me using bigger words than necessary but I'm not trying to come as a genius even though it might seem like that's my intention.

I know some people like to be verbose because they are insecure but not everyone who uses big words is like that. My inadequate self-worth and reproductive prowess must be related to something else.
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Old January 28th, 2014 (08:05 AM).
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Well in many situations I've experienced, using sophisticated vocabulary will give you the label of a "nerd" or something of the sort. It seems that many people these days think the "OMG i haz da shwaggg lol lol"-er is cooler than someone who can actually speak/write. I honestly don't care what others think, and prefer to sound even partially intelligent, but as a whole, I have seen a decline in society in general.
This does not mean society as a whole is declining, but the "cool and hip" section of it is, in my opinion.
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Old January 28th, 2014 (08:12 AM).
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But does it mean that a person is stupid just because they use a bunch of abbreviations and on-purpose misspellings? A lot of people at my school use those when talking to friends and such, but they know when to dial it back when dealing with important things like essays. I feel like our generation is being hated on just because we were exposed to technology for a larger fraction of our lives than the previous, and with the spread of technology like this, obviously there are going to be some social changes. I don't really like how it's changed us to spreading memes at the speed of light, but again, is it impossible for a person to use the term "doge" in a sentence then turn around and give a lecture on the history of Spain?
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Old January 28th, 2014 (08:35 AM).
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Well spelling like five year olds surely doesn't give the impression of intelligence, whether the person is or isn't actually smart. And if nothing else, technology has made us one of the laziest generations, if not the laziest. And I doubt that's making us any smarter.
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Old January 28th, 2014 (08:42 AM).
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Quote originally posted by Aniyha:
But does it mean that a person is stupid just because they use a bunch of abbreviations and on-purpose misspellings? A lot of people at my school use those when talking to friends and such, but they know when to dial it back when dealing with important things like essays. I feel like our generation is being hated on just because we were exposed to technology for a larger fraction of our lives than the previous, and with the spread of technology like this, obviously there are going to be some social changes. I don't really like how it's changed us to spreading memes at the speed of light, but again, is it impossible for a person to use the term "doge" in a sentence then turn around and give a lecture on the history of Spain?
I don't know, there are people who can take a step back and enhance their vocabulary for an essay. However, I've also seen plenty of people who just don't have a sub-par vocabulary whatsoever. A lot of people at my school seem to tlk lik diz on social networks and stuff. And it's not like that helped you in any way. I actually gained grammar and vocabulary through forums from a young age and it's definitely helped me. However, there are so many people who just seem to portray themselves as lacking intelligence.
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Old January 28th, 2014 (09:07 AM).
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Your teacher's opinion simply refers back to my previous thread regarding use of Jargon Words making us smarter, which I believe is his initial goal. Take CharcharOdin's post for example, this is how your teacher wants us to talk like rather than speaking simplified/misspelled words on the internet.
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Old January 28th, 2014 (02:45 PM).
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Quote originally posted by Introvert:
Yes shallow and pedantic. ಠ_ರೃ

Seriously though when I'm talking with people (especially in person) my brain often struggles to find the next word so just I use whatever comes to mind as long as it makes sense. Sometimes this leads to me using bigger words than necessary but I'm not trying to come as a genius even though it might seem like that's my intention.

I know some people like to be verbose because they are insecure but not everyone who uses big words is like that. My inadequate self-worth and reproductive prowess must be related to something else.
It was less directed at people who are smart and more direct at people who act smart.
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Old January 28th, 2014 (02:48 PM).
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I think we use lesser vocabulary because kids are playing more and more video games, and not reading. Texting could have something to do with it, but not that much. Texting and stuff isn't that bad. We aren't dumber, we just may not be using our full potential.
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Old January 28th, 2014 (02:58 PM).
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To leave this segue of language and going back to the OP, I doubt that our generation is any more stupid. In fact, as you mention actually it's easier than ever to learn about new things and deepen our understanding of the world. At the same time, it's easier than ever to distract yourself. Putting the question of whether our generation as a whole is getting more stupid, the two factors I've mentioned would make the difference between people's intelligence more divergent - to put it one way there's a greater spread within the population as it's easier to move on the intelligence continuum in either direction. Since we usually only notice stupid people instead of smart people, I think the differences between smart and stupid have become more visible.
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Old January 29th, 2014 (06:54 AM).
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Your teacher is just going on a rant of "Back in my day...". Less vocabulary since the cavemen ages? Yeah, sure. I'm pretty sure that people back in year 400-500, where the closest thing to school was "priests teaching noble kids" and "priests teaching other priests" helped people have a rich and awesome vocabulary. By the middle ages, only priests and kings/lords knew Latin anymore, because people all over Europe had bastardized it into dozens of languages- because they hadn't been taught how to write/read for centuries. Damn, most people never ever saw a book in their entire lives. I'm sure they had more vocabulary than us, right? I'm pretty sure factory workers from the Victorian Age (who were the majority of the population, by the way) had time to read and keep phylosophical debates. I'm pretty sure the American slaves and the West pioneers had an extremely rich language.

Your teacher is just saying "when I was your age, we read a lot, at least when we weren't playing on the street or watching TV which uh was what we were doing most of the time BUT ANYWAYS you new generations are terrible in comparison to my nostalgia-filtered memories".

I will agree that texting lenguage is terrible in any way, but as long as it's kept for that and people still know how and when you should write normally, I don't think it's bad.
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Old January 29th, 2014 (12:48 PM).
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Am I the only one amazed at how sophisticated so many people are sounding right now, either in mockery of the teacher or of the subject at hand? I'm not going to sit here and spew out complex words for the enjoyment of everyone else, because that is just narcissistic. Instead, I will say that the way a lot of the kids write, talk, and text that were born in 2000 and up is extremely shameful.
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Old January 29th, 2014 (07:38 PM).
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I dunno. Stupid according to which standards? What is our yardstick for intelligence?

It certainly isn't an extensive vocabulary. Slang words are part of the natural evolution of language and have been for as long as they've existed; it's not some new phenomenon. I think it's faulty to equate it to a "dumbing down" of society.
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Old January 30th, 2014 (04:58 PM).
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I wouldn't go as far as calling our generation "stupid," I think there's more of an ignorance factor. Not trying to generalize to the world population or anything, but I feel like kids nowadays are unappreciative of history and what got humanity to this point in the first place. They refuse to accept anything else than what they already know. So I guess I'm saying people are more close-minded than they have ever been, and I'm not referring to the rights and issues that minority groups are trying to overcome. Just in general, not politically.
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Old February 2nd, 2014 (08:53 PM).
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Our generation is no more stupid than the generations before. Each generation will yield intellectually gifted individuals and those who have gifts in other areas. We're making strides in technology never seen before, I don't think as a whole that we are stupid at all.
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Old February 2nd, 2014 (09:01 PM).
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acatfrommars is correct. Take your grandma, would you generally say she's "smarter" than a 3 year old? Probably. Does your grandma know how to use an iPad and do all the fancy gestures and features? Probably not. Does the 3 year old? Probably.

Stupid is relative term. In fact everybody is stupid in some way. A quantum physicist may seem "smart" but could flunk a history exam. Does that make them stupid? Not at all; it all depends how you look at it.
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Old February 5th, 2014 (07:23 AM).
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I find that teacher's comment to be somewhat insulting. At the same time, I notice that a lot of kids these days make themselves look foolish by excessive use of "txt" language and slang. Granted there has always been dumb slang, but the stuff you see on the Internet is like the stuff out of nightmares. Still, that teacher has no right to say that, as there are lots of educated young people who speak proper English.

Using informal English in a formal setting is a bad idea. I once brought up the thing about Rachel Jeantel using Ebonics during her testimony in the George Zimmerman trial. She made herself look uneducated by speaking informally, and the court couldn't even understand some of the stuff she was saying. I speak informally with my friends, but when I'm at the mosque or a nice restaurant, I refrain from using too much slang.
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Old February 5th, 2014 (07:30 AM).
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Pneumatically yes, technologically no. What I mean is that we're at an ethical low in humanity, possibly from the dark ages. We've found a new god, this time it has a physical form too!, and its name is technology. We are too self indulged with the internet, tv, media, and god knows what else, and its slowing the world down in terms of proper knowledge. What I mean is, after the 1990s, everyone born with the internet is gonna die with the internet. They're gonna believe everything and anything the government tells them, because they're too absorbed in their digital microcosms, too disinterested in the real world. Corruption will reach an all new high, corporate greed will become more popular, and the masses will stay uneducated. We really could have had a really smart generation, if things didn't get too out of control. At least imo.
But as I said, we're freaking wizzes when it comes to technology. Some truly innovative things will come out of it, and the next generations will probably use them correctly. In the end though, the world is still in an infantile stay with everything, and its gonna take a good 100 years for everything to be used properly. If we haven't lost all of our free will by then.
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Old February 6th, 2014 (07:16 AM).
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I think our generation took a few wrong turns, okay maybe a lot, but still there are stills as much smart people out there are there are to dumb people. Though some very good changes would do good for this generation, or at least a guide something that will be able to get this generation on track again.
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Old February 6th, 2014 (08:58 AM).
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No. The generation isn't stupid. It's just not showing it's best yet. It can and will improve with time, and things like text speak do have their time and place, just some people tend to over use it and this tends to annoy people.

That said, I often find myself being too verbose.
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Old February 6th, 2014 (06:34 PM).
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Quote originally posted by Beloved:
Am I the only one amazed at how sophisticated so many people are sounding right now, either in mockery of the teacher or of the subject at hand? I'm not going to sit here and spew out complex words for the enjoyment of everyone else, because that is just narcissistic. Instead, I will say that the way a lot of the kids write, talk, and text that were born in 2000 and up is extremely shameful.
Or perhaps, people such as myself, are just naturally more inclined towards eloquence? There's hardly anything narcissistic about it. Pointing that out and alluding to the fact that you are different is what is actually narcissistic.

Quote originally posted by BlahISuck:
To leave this segue of language and going back to the OP, I doubt that our generation is any more stupid. In fact, as you mention actually it's easier than ever to learn about new things and deepen our understanding of the world. At the same time, it's easier than ever to distract yourself. Putting the question of whether our generation as a whole is getting more stupid, the two factors I've mentioned would make the difference between people's intelligence more divergent - to put it one way there's a greater spread within the population as it's easier to move on the intelligence continuum in either direction. Since we usually only notice stupid people instead of smart people, I think the differences between smart and stupid have become more visible.
Yes, but all this information brings in an issue. In an effort to learn it all, or perhaps teach it all, things are ingrained into the brain an inch deep and a mile wide. The way a good majority of schooling works in the Western world is to cram your head with as many facts as possible because those are apparently the equivalent to sophistication, curiosity, and other aspects of being intelligent.

It's easier than ever to deepen our understanding, you're right. But only if you already have that mindset. Otherwise it tends to be something like, "Why do I need to learn who our first president was? I can just google it.' or "Why do I have to learn how to factor polynomials? There's a calculator to do it online for me." or "Why do I have to learn how to spell? That's what autocorrect is for. Nt tht im gonna type all of em lettres n e way."

This article here is pretty interesting. While I wouldn't necessarily equate reaction time to intelligence as they would, they have something going with the whole processing speed thing. It's not exactly that we're getting "dumber"--we just have to make less use of our intelligence than we previously had to. As with any such structure in the body, such as muscles, if you do not use it, it grows weaker.

EDIT: That aside, this generation is most assuredly more open-minded and tolerable in many aspects. While we might not be able to understand things with the sophistication of generations before us, we will approach them with enough patience that we will have time to understand them. Therein lies a major difference. It's an entirely different school of thought, I'd say.
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Old February 6th, 2014 (07:54 PM).
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Honestly, every kid is different. I know extremely smart kids and I know extremely dumb kids. Not necessarily dumb, but honestly, the kids of today have pathetic vocabulary. I hear people that ask the meanings of words that I knew years ago. I might sound extremely conceited, but I'm not trying to be. I'm no grammar expert myself but I think I have a higher vocabulary than the average teenager; whatever the reason that is, I don't know.

Kids are also reading less and less, which I find really disappointing. One class, a student asked the teacher why people read by choice and the only answer the teacher had was that it's fun - the student couldn't even comprehend this (or at least tried not to, because who wants to be a loser that reads?). People always talk about Harry Potter and this awesome series and that, but half of them haven't even read the books and have only watched the movies (while the books are, ultimately, waaaaaaay better). People tell me they have no time to read; these are the same people who party and get hammered every Saturday night.

Also, I don't really think text talk has any real basis of the intelligence of this generation. My own mother texts like that. It's not really that big of a deal - I still use autocorrect but I normally spell out as much words as I can correctly without the use of it.

Wow, I sound so arrogant. c_c
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