The question of why a society functions better when its native language is spoken is a very basic one, with obvious answers. So why then, do so many immigrants, many who have lived here for more than 5 years, not speak English?
If a person is going to make an argument or declaration that includes facts or even just an effort to persuade, then they must at least adhere to the lowest common denominator of a written argument to be taken seriously.
There is comfort in being able to communicate without regard to time or distance but somehow all this personal contact seems so impersonal, so two dimensional, so unnatural... Are we all truly eager to replace all human interaction with virtual realities?
If conversation is an art, art takes practice. Today, that practice time is used up screen-to-screen, rather than face-to-face or through composing a well-constructed letter. And yet the reports of the death of eloquent expression may be greatly exaggerated.
I am often homesick for the pace of life in Holland. No one there is trying to cram three lifetimes into the minutes allotted for one. But, increasingly, I notice that the energy of New York feels right. I inhale it like air.