Future Tense event: Is Technology Enriching Language?

Future Tense Event: Is Technology Enriching Language? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Future Tense Event: Is Technology Enriching Language? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Future Tense
The Citizen's Guide to the Future
March 16 2017 6:11 PM

Future Tense Event: Is Technology Enriching Language? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

A man passes by a screen showing emoji characters designed by Japanese artist Shigetaka Kurita while they are exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art on Dec. 15, 2016, in New York.


The oral tradition begat the printing press and the bounded book, which begat our touchscreen civilization, which begat much hand-wringing about the fate of language. It's easy to bemoan the informality and spontaneity of ubiquitous, democratized communication in all its forms—especially if you're willing to dismiss the democratization. But the ability to communicate across cultures and distance has never been greater, and technology increasingly provides translation across media, languages, and cultures in real time.

Join Future Tense in New York on Wednesday, March 29, for a happy hour conversation on how new and emerging technologies are changing the way we speak, write, and communicate. Will language be richer or poorer for it? For more information and to RSVP, visit the New America website.



Melissa Broder
Poet and author, Last Sext

John McWhorter
Linguist and associate professor of English and comparative literature, Columbia University

Ben Zimmer
Language columnist, the Wall Street Journal

Katy Waldman
Words correspondent, Slate

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.