Mind over Memes: Passive Listening, Toxic Talk, and Other Modern Language Follies by Diana Senechal
When I first heard the description of Mind over Memes: Passive Listening, Toxic Talk, and Other Modern Language Follies by Diana Senechal, I thought that it would be a book about how low this generation has sunk regarding its language skills.
I figured that the author would be discussing things like how we now refer to “ as double quotation marks. Or, that we would hear about phrases like, “I know, right?” when it is obvious we think it is correct because we were the one who just said whatever the speaker is remarking about.
I was sort of lost in the introduction when the author began to comment about Donald Trump. My thought is, “If one intends to make a political statement, shouldn’t they disclose that in the book description?”
I am of the mind that if I pay to see a football game, I pay to see the players play and not make a political statement. If I pay to see a play, I don’t expect to hear a political statement.
After reading a while longer, I felt even stronger that the author used bait and switch to talk more about her political views. She didn’t just go after the far right; she also when after the extreme left, so it was fair and balanced.
All this aside, there is a lot to think about when reading this book. A good bit of what this book causes us to ponder is why such things are the way they seem to be.
Who hasn’t heard an alleged scholar say, “The research has shown…”? They generally do this when they know they don’t have any real evidence to back them up. This is very much how someone who has no argument will do by making a joke about the opposition, which proves nothing about the subject at hand. An example would be an episode of Murphy Brown when the character Myles says, “Reaganomics, a joke”. He never said why he thought it was a joke.
Readers are also told about how “Team” has become overused. The author is spot on with this one.
If Mind over Memes was written for the common man or the good ole’ down home redneck, it missed its mark. There are many words that are complex which were used when a much simpler term could have been used. This makes it a not-so-readable book.
Overall, Mind over Memes will make you think and stretch your mind just a little. It is good book for those looking for subjects of scholarly debate. You probably won’t hear it discussed down at Joe’s Bait & Tackle Shop and All Night Taco Stand. You may hear it discussed when a couple of winos get together at their wine and cheese party and discuss books that are designed to impress the other guests.
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