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We always hear that texting is a scourge. 人们总说短信的出现是一种灾难。 The idea is that texting spells the decline and fall of any kind of serious literacy, or at least writing ability, 这么说的原因是短信降低了人们的读写能力,或者至少是书面表达能力, among young people in the United States and now the whole world today. 这个问题影响着美国青年人今天也变成了全球问题。 The fact of the matter is that it just isn't true, 事实上,这个说法是错误的, and it's easy to think that it is true, 而且人们很容易信以为真, but in order to see it in another way, 但是为了换一个角度来看待它, in order to see that actually texting is a miraculous thing, 为了将短信看作是实际上不可思议的, not just energetic, but a miraculous thing, 而且不只是充满活力的事,也是不可思议的事, a kind of emergent complexity that we're seeing happening right now, 是一个我们正在经历的一个紧迫而复杂事情, we have to pull the camera back for a bit and look at what language really is, 我们就得回过头好好想想语言究竟是怎么一回事, in which case, one thing that we see is that texting is not writing at all. 这么看的话,我们可以说短信其实根本就不是书面文字表达。 What do I mean by that? 为什么这么说呢? Basically, if we think about language, 从根本上说,如果我们想到语言, language has existed for perhaps 150,000 years, 语言已经存在了大概15万年, at least 80,000 years, 至少也有8万年了, and what it arose as is speech. People talked. 首先出现的是语音。人们彼此交谈。 That's what we're probably genetically specified for. 这个大概就是出于我们人类的本能。 That's how we use language most. 大多数情况下,这就是我们如何使用语言的。 Writing is something that came along much later, 文字是在这之后很晚才产生的, and as we saw in the last talk, 正如我们在上一个演讲所看到的, there's a little bit of controversy as to exactly when that happened, 对于文字是何时出现的还是有些小小的争议, but according to traditional estimates, 但是根据传统估算, if humanity had existed for 24 hours, 如果人类文明存在了24个小时, then writing only came along at about 11:07 p.m. 那么文字是在晚上11点07分时产生的。 That's how much of a latterly thing writing is. 大家可见文字是最近才出现的。 来自:VOA英语网 文章地址: http://www.tingvoa.com/html/20171011/501332.html