Comments Tagged ‘technology’

  • Economy 71-81 (1 comment)

    • Comment by Paul Schacht on February 16, 2020

      This is a great question, Hannah. Thoreau’s relationship to technology is definitely a complicated one. As a land surveyor, he relied heavily on the surveying technology of his day. As a member of a family that manufactured pencils for a living, he was very interested in the technology of pencil-making and contributed his own important developments to that technology. And he said this about the railway: “What right has a man to ride in the cars who does not know by what means they are moved?” Of course, you’re also asking about his attitude toward linguistic invention. I suspect his attitude here would be complicated as well. In paragraph 10 he writes: “Old deeds for old people, and new deeds for new.” An excellent book on how the internet has affected language, by the way, is linguist Gretchen McCulloch’s Because Internet. It puts to rest many myths about how “lol” and other expressions — especially the myth that these expressions are born of laziness.

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