Zimmer on the Zuckerverb
Zimmer gives some trenchant analysis of what Facebook is doing, while avoiding the doom-and-gloom “the English language is going to hell” commentary that is so often heard:
This is what happens when language is optimized for social data-mining rather than natural communication. “Mark read a book.” “Mark listened to a song.” “Mark hiked a trail.” “Mark reviewed a movie.” The sentences flashed on the big screen behind Zuckerberg as he laid out his verb-y vision. Though these sentences are technically in the active voice, they present us with an oddly cramped kind of “activeness,” in which we the users engage with a world of commodified objects through verbs of consumption. And to see one’s “life story” reduced to a series of such prefab activities in a personal timeline? Some might call that the apotheosis of consumer culture.
It’s well worth a read.
Copyright 1997-2013, by David Wilton