Hi, my name is D and this is my writings on subjects. I'm no rapscallion or anything at all. If you want to you can read my writings on subjects if you have free time. If you want to argue with me or call me names then please comment. Negative feedback is very welcome...I love dat shit. Me? I'm not even a noun, I'm a fucking verb, dude.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

With the Dawning of the Digital Age....Is there a Future for Apostrophes, Accents, Cedillas, and Umlauts?

.....or is there NO FUTURE for apostrophes, accents, cedillas, and umlauts in this digital human age?

In this article we will wonder aloud whether these punctuation variables, or as many refer to them "accidents of history," have any place in the current digitized writing climate. We're gonna look at what the heck they are, then we're gonna look at where they probably came from, and then conclude on whether or not these letter variations have a future or not.


What are these Things, anyways?

' = Apostrophe
é, ê, è = Accents
ç = Cedilla
ū = Umlaut


They are cute little punctuation marks that appear in sentences or on top of vowels or under the letter C from time to time in Euro-disseminated languages. English people know about the apostrophe more than any of the others...the others appear in the latin-based romance languages more often (Spanish, French, Portuguese, Italian, Romanian, etc.).

They are for pronunciation and have no value to reading and writing. Speech and reading/writing are two separate mental faculties that surprisingly have little in common with each other. Reading/Writing is very technical and code-based while speech is more wave-modulated audio bits which are learned from listening and repetition.

You can be 100% illiterate and still be a great speaker or singer....speech is not related very much at all with reading/writing. Readin' and writin' is a code that is deciphered with the eyes to the brain whilst speaking/listening is a code deciphered with the ears to the brain.

For that reason, are pronunciation-related variables necessary in eye-related deciphering? Not really, no.

The digital age has seen the rise of Google Translate, which has spidered almost all written linguistic codes and matched them with definitions in order to act as a universal translator. It isn't perfect but it's pretty freaking good to be honest. I can send a Chinese article through it and read it in English and get a pretty good jist/idea of what was stated in the Chinese coded article.

Languages have been broken down, bit by bit, and all definitions/idioms/concepts that these variables represent have been massed together in one database which can churn out any langauge codification into the language you are able to read with your brain. It's pretty amazing, really.

That's the state of affairs in the present (2015), but before we conclude on the question if these linguistic punctuation variables have a place in the human future...let's first look at where I think they originated from.


The Possible History of the Weird Lines n' Slashes on our Dumb Words

Note: This is a theory and I have no way to really prove it so it's just food for thought, really.

I honestly believe that apostrophes, accents, cedillas, and umlauts are accidents of history which were born unto writing by errors in the early printing press era (16th to 18th century).

A written language is only a written language if many many people accept that the definitions of the character-variable sets are what they are. If a few thousand people accept and use the term "Shoe" to refer to the things you put on your feet to help you walk then that character variable set of "Shoe" is thusly an accepted term, part of the lexicon, and part of written language.

Prior to the early printing press era, do you know how many people on earth were literate? Do you know how many people could read linguistic codes and understand them? Less than 1% of people could. The invention of the printing press (which first appeared in China prior to the 14th century) is what made written language codes accepted languages. The automatisation process of the printing press disseminated the written codes to a wide audience who in turn learned the codes in order to read the books and flyers coming off the press line.

Old school printer.
In the early printing press era in Europe, these machines were not exactly the most efficient and error-free devices to say the least. The first problem was the people who worked the printing press machines were illiterate people (paid in pennies) who matched up the symbols they were given to the press plate to print a page....and being illiterate it was common that dozens of small errors were made in every single page that was printed in any given book.

The other big problem was any small damage to the machine plates would get soaked with ink and a page might be printed with dashes, slashes, dots, and other dumb shit all around the page....and since it is a plate and uniform...the dots and slashes APPEARED IN EVERY SINGLE BOOK THAT WAS PRINTED ON THAT MACHINE.

These problems in the early printing press era may even be a large factor as to why European dialects shifted and mutated the way they did. Spanish, French and Italian were once THE SAME LANGUAGE at one point. We must also factor in small deviations of style created by poets and other writers which disseminated texts to their region which altered the written codes in their areas (copy cats wanted to write like the popular poets of their region) yet printing press errors may be a stronger factor as to why dialects variated the way the did.

Imagine the time and place in the 17th century, hundreds of thousands of people learning the new hip thing called reading in their spare time and hundreds of interesting books being printed to be read by these hundreds of thousands of people. The printing presses in all the major metropolis cores (London, Paris, Seville, Lisbon, Venice, Hamburg, etc) are all running off these printing presses like crazy and people in all these core-cities are reading these texts...

Let's say the printing press in Seville made an error on the plate, the worker matched the symbol to his blue print wrong, then hundreds of thousands of people in Seville would read the book with the spelling mistake. Hundreds of thousands of people, who are learning to read for the first time in great masses in human history, all getting a book with a minor alteration in the language system. Next thing you know, all Spanish people are writing "Jajajajajajaja" instead of "Hahahahahaha" to represent laughter because that's how language in written code was presented to them.

Or let's say Lisbon's printing press factory sent out a popular book with a weird line over a vowel. Let's say a scratch in the plate put a small diagonal line over an "e" on EVERY SINGLE BOOK that was printed and acquired by hundreds of thousands of people in Lisbon. All of a sudden people are asking their friends and elders..."Hey, what is this line over the e?" and all it took was one bozo to make up something to pretend he's smart and say..."oh that? Well it means it's an e that's pronounced more high pitched " and next thing you know that scratch on the printing plate has now become a damned RULE of ORTHOGRAPHY and bozo-face gets appointed head of the Portuguese academy of writing rules because everyone thinks he's so fucking smart. Whooop-de-dooooo.

Oh, go take a walk, blue pen bozo.
Or let's say, (just one more, sorry), that London's printing press puts some dumb scratch between some dumb word and people look at it and go "what's that line between my word, guvnah?" and then some fantastic fop pipes up "Well, that's an apostrophe, it is! How could you not know that you simpleton!?" and then that printing plate scratch gets a name and everyone is throwing these new-fangled high falutin' apostrophes in all their dumb books and acting all smart. Fast forward a few hundred years and english teachers ALL OVER THE PLACE are taking out red pens and anxiously scanning their student's papers for the word "your" to see if they put the apostrophe in it if they wanted to denote "you are" and if it's not there....they load up that red pen like it's some sort of scepter of divine truth that shoots lightning at orthographic mistakes and they draw the biggest and meanest circle around your "your" and write over it in HUGE red ink "you're" to let you know how stupid you are! Oh, take a long walk you english teachers, take a nice long walk and really think to yourself how petty you are. You're job is to circle words that have missing apostrophes! You're duty on earth is to circle printing press plate scratches from the 17th century and make your students feel stupid. Take a long introspective walk, you english teachers, you.

Jabroni....thy name is apostrophe.


Does the Digital Human Future have a Place for These Printing Press Mutants of Yester Year?

Look, for style purposes I think everyone should write how they feel is fun for them to write. Me? I like to use punctuation when I write. I use commas and especially ellipses (the three+ dots). I use ellipses because I actually think what I'm gonna write next when I put that break in. I'll be writing these silly blogs.......and then I'll like stop and breathe and think for a second.....and then finish whatever dumb thing I was writin' 'bout.

The other main mutation factor in written langauge codes that I mentioned above is poets and writers who have unique and interesting styles do 100% change the vernacular and lexicon of a region/world. People don't just start writing from scratch otta nowhere...they synthesize and copy other writers who's stuff they've read. So if you like apostrophes or cedillas or umlauts then go for it and use 'em. If that's your style, then yo.

....but....

Don't go overboard with silly writing rules. Like, if you're getting mad over You/You're ....honestly ....you should chill out. If I write this,

"Your taking this reading/writing shit too serious. Maybe you should chill out and go walk you're dog or something..."
In all seriousness, is there a person out there, who can read english, who's so stupid that they couldn't understand what was being stated in that sentence? If you couldn't understand that statement above because a printing press error from the 17th century was omitted from one word then, sorry to rude, but maybe you are very very stupid. Maybe you can't read.

If you did understand that statement but were angered and enraged by it...well....maybe you're a bad person or something. If you love your dumb apostrophe so much maybe you should marry it.

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