Upon my delve into Lanham’s “Internet-Age Writing Syllabus and Course Overview,” I thought he was serious about print’s movement toward the land of the obsolete. This is probably due to the fact that I omit comprehension of any long-winded titles of articles that my professors assign for homework. However, sincerely academic or otherwise, Lanham actually succeeded in making me “LOL” at the very first sentence of this article.
While I’ll admit I had to reacquaint myself with the exact definition of “cuneiform,” I did not immediately discover in this “heavy clump of bound paper” the delicate (or rather, as I read on, not-so-delicate) satire. My LOL’s got more and more frequent as I read on about the act of “writing for nonreaders: limiting the superfluous use of nouns, verbs, adverbs. adjectives, and conjunctions.” Unadulterated hilarity, at its very best (“all without the restraints of writing in complete sentences!”).
The aforementioned humor, no doubt, can be found in Lanham’s careful piss-taking out of bullshitters — the hipsters of the web whose “Facebook status updates glitter with irony, absurdity, and dramatic glibness” — in the social networking universe. Here, I carefully choose “universe” rather than “world,” because said space is THAT much more titanic.
Even now as I write a response to this reading, I find that I embody a more shallowly witty, semi-pretentious narrative voice than I usually employ, purely because I am posting on a blog. And it is in this notion, although I only provided a shoddy response to the questions we were supposed to answer, that one can see the validity in Lanham’s underlying fear of the impending doom of the written word, and those who are competent enough to understand it.