Monday, August 16, 2010

Web Semantics: Chinese digital dysgraphia

Web Semantics: Chinese digital dysgraphia

*Nicholas Carr, a guy with a native genius for finding out that Google is making us stupid:
“Forgotten characters
JULY 22, 2010

“As software obviates the need for Chinese to sketch by hand the characters that make up their written language, they are coming to realize that those characters are being erased from their memories. Barbara Demick recently reported on this “long descent into forgetfulness” in the Los Angeles Times:
“This is a strange new form of illiteracy — or, more exactly, dysgraphia, the inability to write — that is peculiar to China … The more gadgets people own — cellphones, smart phones, computers — the less often they go through the elaborate sequence of strokes that make up Chinese characters. Whether on their computers or texting on phones, most Chinese use a system where they type out the sound of the word in Pinyin, the most commonly used Romanization system — and presto, they are given a choice of characters to use.
“Victor Mair, a professor of Chinese language and literature at Penn, calls it an epidemic of “character amnesia”:
“Because of their complexity and multiplicity, writing Chinese characters correctly is a highly....Next...

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