Ask A Genius 16 – The Future of Writing
Scott Douglas Jacobsen and Rick Rosner
November 5, 2016
Scott: What’s the future of writing?
Rick: Before discussing the future of writing, we need to discuss the present of writing. To go back to the past, in Shakespeare’s time and before, nobody had established hard rules for spelling, for instance.
People took the best shot at how words should be on paper based on how it sounded. People used to stick in extra letters. Shakespearean words came in a bunch of different spellings.
In later spellings, people started building dictionaries and different rules for spellings to get things consistent. Writing between Shakespeare and now has gotten pretty formalized, but within the texting era writing has split into the formal writing that we’re used to.
The writing used for business communication and literary writing, and then there’s this texty writing that is chaotic and serves to get your point across often with typos and misspellings and with whatever auto-fill or spell check on your phone thinks the word you’re going after should be.
Everybody is okay with that. Younger people are more okay with the chaotic kind of writing that comes out of texting to the point where older people or people who use punctuation come across as assholes for putting periods at the end of words, texts, and emails. Present writing has split into the writing that we’ve been used to for a couple hundred years now.
It is structured and chaotic for the moment. That comes from your thumbs being used for quick communication. There’s a smearing into each other with more formal writing being more and more affected by typos because people can’t be bothered. We’re at an exciting and annoying point in writing.
Scott Douglas Jacobsen
Editor-in-Chief, In-Sight Publishing
American Television Writer
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