posted on Apr, 14 2013 @ 03:29 PM
Well, yes and no (regarding thought control).
In linguistics we have an expression, "the tyranny of the written word" which applies to the concept of the form of the written word affecting our
understanding of language (and cognition in general). Language is inherently aural-oral and writing developed half a dozen times independently across
the globe. Writing has been used to understand the origins of language, often erroneously. However, it's my personal belief that it can affect the
evolution of human languages.
Simple examples would be the way people transfer written acronyms and abbreviations into speech. "brb" is a good example, because as far as written
efficiency is concerned, no one can argue three letters versus "be right back". However, "be-arr-be" spoken allowed has no real efficiency: three
syllables with negligible time saving when compared with "be right back". Yet, younger people say it out loud just the same, for other reasons,
Different example: government, advertising and other PR/propaganda related usages. The "USA Patriot Act" is an excellent example: the acronym
becomes a word, in this case a semantically weighted and highly jingoistically charged word "PATRIOT". It's hard to argue against patriotism, much
easier to argue against a draconian measure called the "protecting America ...what does it stand for again?" Oh yes, "uniting and strengthening
America by providing appropriate tools required to intercept and obstruct terrorism" ...tell me which came first, the acronym or the content...I
think my guess is on the former...orthographic gymnastics, much?
Let me add a literary example to my point: in 1984, George Orwell (a linguist, by the way) paints a picture of his main character revising history on
a daily basis through the rewriting of archival information so that no one could check back to verify lies by the government. The "newspeak" he
creates for the dystopian State is also of interest to my point... Double plus ungood...sounds like how a teenager might txt "++ un gud" (ref.
Now, factor in the limitations provided by twitter on amount of characters allowed, or how long a Facebook post can be before the "see more..." link
replaces the remainder. This all tells me societies general concentration time is being reduced. The amount of time someone will commit to a written
comment is becoming shorter. As a result (and I've seen this on twitter posts from Mitch Macconnell to Kim Kardashian) people's writting on these
social networking applications are becoming increasingly disposed to shortening s, clippings, acronyms and abbreviations.
Words like brb or txt may be wholly inconsequential as a result of this social phenomenon, but other things like the patriot act may start to become
more ubiquitous, meaning we stop talking about things for their substance (ie, the actual words that make up the meaning) and start hollowing out the
semantics and creating an empty shell within which any meaning may be applied.
I realize I took a turn away from the main point of autocorrect. To add, when these programs complete what we write, the possibility to completely
supplant the intended focus of the writer can occur. I'm trying to think of a good example and will add back to this when I can. I don't sit on
twitter at all and I rarely use FB anymore...I'll try to look for one to show my point.