Written by Ellie James
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image for The case for hieroglyphics "I don't know what the hell that pointy thing is," states UT freshman Cassandra Jeffreies

It is no question that young American's can't write as well as previous generations. Sociologists and academics blame social media and texting for the demise of written American English.

Kendra Goodwin, Associate Professor of Hieroglyphics at the University of Texas in Austin agrees. "Teens and young adults don't know how to write anything other than LOL, BRB and WTF. Sometimes they do communicate with three of four word sentences, but that's rare."

The word hieroglyphics comes from the Greek word hieroglyphos, which means "sacred carving." Ancient people used pictures to tell stories. They could be found in tombs, on trees, on mountains, or in caves. Native people from all over the world used this primitive form of writing to tell about wars, hunting, love triangles and some have been linked to the prediction of the creation of IKEA and Microsoft.

Dr. Goodwin believes that it's time to go back to the basics. Rather, the pre-basics. Students in Dr Goodwin's class study the basics of Egyptian, Mayan and Olmec Hieroglyphics. It is clear that the students are having fun in addition to re-learning how to write and communicate. By the end of the semester, students have transformed themselves from saying BRB to "Hold on. Gotta get a beer."

"They still have a long way to go," claims Dr. Goodwin. This is why the University of Texas is going to offer Hieroglyphics II: Pre Gutenberg Communication. It is Dr. Godwin's hope that America will one day provide the world with great writers once again.

One of her students, Brian Jones, a second year sophomore likes the class and sees it leading to a future career of bartending or perhaps telemarketing as his major is education and he's not counting on getting a job when he graduates due to the local economy. Mr. Jones states, "I like the drawing. And, a lot of chicks take the class. So, WTF…. I might get laid."

Sociologists are looking at the UT Hieroglyphics program with great interest, as is the Texas Education Agency. It is rumored that TEA is considering offering Pre-AP Hieroglyphics classes in high schools in the coming year.

It will take several years to see if offering classes in hieroglyphics will help the decline in solid American writing in young adults and teens. Only time will tell. In the mean time BRB yo' HVE DEDLNE.


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