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Letter: Talk is cheap these days

Talk has never been cheaper. The gossip media have encouraged this and are thriving.

An email message has room in it for writing. A text or a tweet is a blabber note, not writing. Unlike a phone call (with its allowance for a voice-mail message), it lets the sender avoid immediate dialog altogether. The gossip media have opened a vast new way for illegitimate assertion—e.g., the lie, the smear, the death threat—while further degrading and trivializing private and public discourse. They bring out the lack of character in people.

Nelson lives in Fargo.

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