I’ve been taking a linguistics class this semester. It’s incredibly interesting, and I’ve learned a lot (even though I’ll be glad when it’s over). One of the most interesting realizations I’ve had is that language usage is not immediately applied to writing by many people. To me, it’s hard to separate spoken communication from written communication. So, for me, I am often tempted to judge people’s intelligence by their ability and proficiency in written communication.
But I’m not alone in this temptation. In fact, many people who know they aren’t good at written communication condemn their own intelligence based on the fact that they have difficulty communicating in writing.
But we weren’t created to write; we were created to communicate. And you know what? We are constantly finding new ways to communicate. Think about hashtags. Emojis. Abbreviations. All of these new forms of communication have rules and meanings of their own. And you know something else? People who have trouble with traditional written communication are often really good at the newer forms of communication (if you know how to “read” that kind of communication). Not to mention being able to hold a good conversation that clearly expresses intelligence.
Yet most schools are very much based on traditional, written communication. Is it any wonder that some people think they’re not intelligent when all of their classes are based on written methods of communication?
And you know what I think? I think everyone should take a linguistics class in high school. It would help a lot of people understand the difference between writing and communicating.