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Denebola » Mara Sahleanu http://www.denebolaonline.net The Award-Winning, Official School Newspaper of Newton South High School, Newton, MA Fri, 17 Jun 2011 02:00:19 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.0.2 It’s all about the wordplay http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/02/10/it%e2%80%99s-all-about-the-wordplay/ http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/02/10/it%e2%80%99s-all-about-the-wordplay/#comments Wed, 10 Feb 2010 08:45:07 +0000 Mara Sahleanu http://www.denebolaonline.net/?p=3621 I am in no place to knock creativity of any kind. I also tend to be stingy with my use of teenage phrases that go against the grammar rules dictated to me by formal education.

That being said, I sometimes allow myself a few casualties every now and then’€generally just catchphrases between friends, associated with some inside joke. The deviations I encounter daily on the interwebz, however, tend to serve one of three purposes: to make me chuckle, make me resentful, or confuse me entirely.

I’m no sheltered old person, but it’s fair to say that RitiN’ sertin things n S3rtin wayz kin b moar cryptic then anything els. N no 1 lykz a h4x0r hu cannot spell. To push me to resentfulness, though, is quite a task.

I have faith that our generation approaches daily speech with more inventiveness than our predecessors did; it’s the first time in a while that popular phrasing has been so heavy with meaning.

Take, for example, one of my favorites: If you were to replace a reaction of shock in conversation with “O RLY?, what looks like a casual misrepresentation of “oh really is actually laden with meaning.

It derives its humor from the single image that is brought to mind upon its usage, the photo of a surprised snow-white owl that went viral’€hugely popular, if you catch my drift’€on the World Wide Web some years ago. Whether or not the situation calls for a shocked bird representation, the reference is nonetheless successfully delivered through the use of the seemingly tacky abbreviation.

Similarly, the act of encasing nouns between an ampersand and a semicolon has had a surge of popularity in recent years. To the inexperienced eye, it looks like typos accidentally hacked up by a computer.

But looking further into the history of the trend, we see that the placement of the punctuation is a throwback to HTML coding, which was used on websites that required brackets and carats and otherwise useless keystrokes to depict images.

&heart; was the mother of the bastardizations used today. Naturally, we adolescents grew tired of the familiar and branched into clever derivatives of our own invention, replacing “heart with all kinds of situational nouns. Proud we should be, for we’ve managed to come up with a punctuational device that is both unique to our generation and reflects modern society’s technological advancements.

Although it’s easy to look down on our generation’s idea of wordplay, it deserves a little bit of respect. We obviously don’t have the credentials to call ourselves new-age Billy Shakespeares but, except in regard to syntax and rhyme scheme, we’re pretty much playing the same game.

Rearranging vowels and strategically capitalizing random letters in words has become somewhat of a trademark of our Internet scene’€and nothing beats hearing people attempt to incorporate online lingo into spoken conversation. (You can’t hide from the shame attributed to saying “lolz sincerely.)

Kids nowadays amuse themselves with changing the language they use the most frequently, and catering it to the whims of their friends and cohorts. Sure, even if, as a population of immature adults, we need to be amused at all times, we deserve merit for the motivation behind the creativity.

It’s a challenge of sorts, to bend language beyond the point of recognition. And why not have fun getting there?

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Opposing Viewpoints, How far does the Ivy grow? Con: Athletes shouldn’t score Ivies http://www.denebolaonline.net/2008/12/17/opposing-viewpoints-how-far-does-the-ivy-grow-con-athletes-shouldn%e2%80%99t-score-ivies/ http://www.denebolaonline.net/2008/12/17/opposing-viewpoints-how-far-does-the-ivy-grow-con-athletes-shouldn%e2%80%99t-score-ivies/#comments Thu, 18 Dec 2008 07:20:54 +0000 Mara Sahleanu http://denebolaonline.net/denebola/?p=521 Mention the Ivy League to an upperclassman, and more often than not, they’ll start thinking about SAT scores and exclusiveness. These colleges are revered for both their bright students and great athletics; but which should supersede the other?

I speak, of course, of admission rates. Recent statistics have shown that athletes who apply and get into Ivy League schools for sports tend to have lower SAT scores than those who apply for purely academic reasons. Although extracurriculars support students’ chances at admission, some believe that giving athletes some elbowroom is unfair to students not involved in sports.

“Ivy Leagues got their status from the caliber of the students they accept every year, junior Gabe Glissen-Brown said. A former athlete himself, his opinion is based on his own brains versus brawn experience.

On average, students involved in sports have less time for their studies and thus are less likely to score higher on standardized tests. That isn’t to say that sports cut off all hope for high marks. But colleges’ admission of lower-scoring students may seem like justified leniency for busy athletes. However, it poses another problem: Are these “elite centers of academia wasting their time on students who may not have time for their studies?

Junior Eric Phillips believes that the current system is fine for hard workers. “I think [the admittance rate is] fine, especially because [lazy athletes] are going to get bad grades anyways, he said. “So it’s not all that prestigious [to get] in for sports but failing your classes.

The prospect of opportunity being wasted upsets Isa Sisson, however, who believes that slots are meant for people who really want to learn. “Harvard and Yale, for instance, are two schools built upon academic achievement at its highest, she said. “Although their teams are well known for being highly competitive, athleticism should not be their priority when it comes to picking students. It does not make sense for someone who can play well and has decent grades to be picked over someone who doesn’t play sports but has excellent grades.

Viewed in that light, it seems unfair that colleges favor students’ other talents above their desire to be taught by the best educators in the country. But the sad truth is, we live in a capitalist society that thrives off the money made from situations like these.

Hypothetically, if a student’€James, 6 foot 3 and 240 lbs, star linebacker of his high school team and brimming with potential’€were to apply to Yale for a prime position on the football team and was admitted, the Yale team could improve. More winning games would follow, as would more fundraisers and more money from alumni. From the colleges’ point of view, their admissions system can do more good than harm in the long run.

In the end, it’s the students who are affected and deserve to be accommodated. Dartmouth president David McLaughlin believes that “some colleges place so much emphasis on sports that two classes of students are established, breaking the bond between all aspiring learners.

Either way, a reasonable quota should be used to determine which students deserve to attend the college. Until then, I’ll continue to amuse myself by imagining that there exists a Princeton jock who, after crew practice, goes to his dorm and runs lines for theatre.

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