Monday, October 4, 2010

Cheez Doodles


“It was not immediately clear to what degree the English language will be mourned, or if it will be mourned at all. In the United States, English has become increasingly irrelevant, particularly among young adults. Once the most popular major at the nation’s leading colleges and universities, it now often trails more pragmatic disciplines, such as economics, politics, government, and, ironically, ‘communications,’ which increasingly involves learning to write mobile-device-friendly ads for products like Cheez Doodles. Many people interviewed for this obituary appeared unmoved by the news, including Anthony Incognito of Crystal City, a typical man in the street. ‘Between you and I,’ he said, ‘I could care less.’”

—Gene Weingarten, columnist, The Washington Post, Sept. 19, 2010 URL
(Thanks to alert WORDster Jared Thayne)

Editor’s Note: Me myself, I care fewer.

Today’s Wish-I-Were-Here Photo: Speaking of mourning, Beachscape Morning . . .

NEWSNOTE: National Public Radio’s ombudsman Alicia C. Shepard, comes to Utah State University
this week for a series of conversations on journalism, including a Morris Media & Society Lecture tomorrow, Oct. 5, “The Promise and Perils of Social Media,” noon-1:15 p.m., USU Performance Hall. Maybe we can get her to address the “Cheez Doodles Issue.”

Today’s WORD on Journalism is now on Facebook! Join up and rant daily! And join USU JCOM Alumni & Friends on FB.


  1. PS from the Prof:

    Gene Weingarten, we should note, won the Pulitzer Prize this year. As the quote above indicates, the man cares about the language. Indeed, the following equation may apply: Cheez Doodles is to nutrition as the kind of "communications" Mr. Weingarten addresses is to writing.

    Here's a homework assignment to all my students (and the rest of you as well): go find Weingarten's Pulitzer-winning stories and roll around in them. You can start here:

  2. I feel that pretty soon, maybe in the next 10 years the English language, even courses will be altered to where "text language" is the new English. Gene is absolutely right that English is dying. As technology gets more and more advanced it can be extinct.

    Romina Nedakovic

  3. OMG the english lang is dying?

    We're totally losing our ability to use the English language. Whatever happened to spelling, grammar, or real communication? As much as I enjoy texting and can see some of the benefits, the loss intelligent interpersonal communication is depressing.

  4. I personally hate texting. I don't have time to sit for hours and text or email on my phone. I do believe that social networking sights are endangering personal relationships though. Dr. Pease, where would you like this assignment handed in?

  5. I'm with you, Chasity: My thumbs are too fat and stoopid for texting. On the other hand, I find it a useful tool for quick messages—to my wife, for example, when I've lost her in the grocery ("Where R U?!?") or to give her a heads up when I'm heading home and I know she's too busy for a phone call.

    Chasity: What assignment are you asking about?

  6. I sat in on Alicia's lecture, I think she made some great points and she did a great job re-iterating how technology is threatening traditional "language." Especially with texting and emails.

    Kelsey Devaney

  7. I am not a fan of text speak. I understand that it's convenient and fast. It's just so darn ugly.

    Erica Abbott