If you were doing a bit of work experience at the Oxford University Press, you might think you were onto something pretty special. If you actually had a job there, you might be patting yourself on the back on a regular basis. But in further proof that no job is completely exempt from mind-numbing drudgery, the OUP has been conducting a study monitoring the use of the English language in the blogosphere.
While that might sound like an interesting exercise at first, think about it a bit more deeply and you’ll realise the horror that it actually is. Imagine having to read the diaries of every single teenage girl and socially unfortunate boy in the world. That’s not even close. The discerning eye will pick out the quality, well written, informative blog. Yes, of course, the quality, well written, informative blog like this one. You’re a discerning reader. But for every blog like this one, there are thousands of rambling losers, bemoaning their fate to the electronic universe in the desperate hope that someone might listen. And even if nobody listens, they just need to get it out anyway. Imagine monitoring the entire blogosphere (in as much as that is possible) and then imagine the ratio of dross to gold.
If you needed any proof, the OUP has released a list of the fifteen most frequently used words in blogdom:
With a list like that, no further explanation is needed.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a hypocrite. Mostly. I greatly appreciate what blogging and all associated activities are doing for the world. The opportunity for anyone to be heard if they have something to say is fantastic. The opportunity for the general public to comment on, and act as a part of, the media is a great advancement for everyone. But, just like cars give us the ability to get from place to place very easily and make distance no real issue, they also give morons an opportunity to prove what little brains they have by racing through suburban streets.
All advancement has drawbacks that occur through abuse or thoughtlessness. There will always be stupid people, selfish people, ignorant people. There will also be gold out among that dross.