Friday, March 8, 2013

Deplorable: A reaction to JANE EYRE and the devolution of language.

Having recently read listened to the tumultuous ramble that is Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë (via audiobook—it was seventeen hours long), I made my way to an appalling conclusion of proportions which, while not wholly devastating to our society, are certainly pathetic and wont to pull, at the very least, an ounce of dismay from the reader.

My conclusion, as such, is this: language is an evolutionary beast, and, as any organism likely to change and grow over time, it has done so with meticulous care in particular areas—the newfound words deemed of import enough to be regaled with inclusion in official dictionaries as a part of the growing public lexicon—and yet in the same instant, the tradition of language has become, well, simplistic.

Yes. A miserable thing. The English language is hearty, a language of fortitude and multitudinous possibility. And yet the colloquial fashion is to cast off the vibrant alternatives in favour of the more routine options; like a bird with feathers of myriad colours, and yet we focus on scarcely any, perhaps those scant plumes found at a wingtip, turning blind eyes to the possible visual feast.

Three things, learned I, from my seventeen-hour-long travels through the (proverbial) pages of Jane Eyre.

One: Regardless of intake, I am less than inclined to civility over the gothic novel. Despite using an audiobook to retrace my once-reluctant steps through Jane’s life, I maintain that the subject matter is dry, drawn out—as one would imagine a punishment would increase the seconds of every hour under its waste—and predictably vexing, as the sensibilities and judgements towards women, deemed the “fairer sex” resound within my skull with a ludicrous knell.

Two: Mr Rochester remains a dick. No fancy words need bolster such a sentiment. A selfish dick he was years ago upon my first perusal of Jane Eyre’s pages, and I maintain the years have done nothing to shift him from such status.

Three: The colloquial language of today has collapsed; imploded, if you will, upon itself. The general population would seem to abhor the use of creative sentences—with perhaps the exception of expletives—falling instead upon habit and a dribble of vocabulary, relying on repetitive modifiers and simplicity. With the vibrant lexicon of language we, as the culture of English speakers, have at our disposal—and it is truly a plethora of possible radiant locutions afforded us—we lapse into the invariable monotony that is our familiar (and tedious) communication.

I, myself, am guilty of these transgressions.

Is it a reaction to the increase of technology? A diminutive response to the ability to have every answer at one’s fingertips with the slash of a few keystrokes and the monolith that is Google? The telling slump of a failing education?

Or the sin of sloth? Are we simply too lazy to bother?

Regardless, my impressions upon reading listening to Jane Eyre have been twofold: conclusions regarding the story itself (and Mr Rochester’s resounding dickery), but more lasting is that of the discourse—the distressing deduction that our society’s usage of terminology (when one has the breadth of the robust English lexicon at our disposal as modes of expression) is rather deplorable.

In short: simply tragic.

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