Tuesday, August 31, 2010

GRE Issue Task 8

“Because e-mail places a premium on rapid communication and quick response, it discourages careful thought and well-crafted prose and tends to encourage incivility.”

As the Internet has overtaken most of the functions of the post offices and such, we arrived in the era of rapid communication. Fifteen years ago, we had to wait four days to send letter to a nearby city, almost a week to a neighboring state, and even a month if we sent it from the middle of nowhere to an unknown village in a different contingent. As amazing as it seems, the Internet allows us to send an e-mail to anywhere, as long as the Web is accessible there, in a matter of seconds. Responses could be sent just as quick. If Kahlil Gibran and May Ziadah lived today, it would not take years for them to fall in love to each other. It might only take weeks or even days, instead.

However, there is an issue that the speedy nature of e-mail discourages people from thinking carefully of what they writer. As a consequence, they are not used to well-crafted prose. Even worse, e-mail encourage incivility to the Internet users. However, I disagree that e-mail and its propensity is culpable of those mentioned above. The argument itself is plausible and has at least two vital flaws.

In the argument, the writer implies that he expects conventional mails to be well-written and well-structured. Meanwhile, it is not necessary for mails to be written so well. Whether someone writes in the proper tenses, structures, or paragraph partitionings depends on the individual. It is very likely that some people write to their friends without thinking about any of those felicity. This tendency is brought up when they write e-mails.

Now, let us turn the table to the innovative alternative way of communication. Although “e-mail” stands for “electronic mail”, but does it mean e-mails only replace conventional letters? No, e-mails may be functioned as memos as well. A memo is expected to contain a short message, and thus we have to emphasize the content of the message rather than its rhetorical quality. When an e-mail is sent as a replacement of a memo, the similar inclination occurs.

Eventually, e-mails do not encourage incivility, for the individuals themselves have different degrees of inclination to it. Another point is we can not expect e-mails to be well-crafted because they replace not only letters, but also memos. Therefore, e-mails are not as detrimental as the writer thinks.

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