“Kids are in the know with Elmo” (2/16, FYI) demonstrates expressly why I’d rather not have my children watch today’s dumbed-down talk on “Sesame Street.”
Elmo’s third-person, baby-talk semantics when conversing with fellow characters and those watching him is a complete disservice to young viewers. Developing minds deserve proper talk when learning about everyday activities.
Having loved “Sesame Street” when I was growing up, I looked forward to sharing such a classic with my own children. But one viewing as a new mom caused me to click off the tube and go to Amazon.com for the old-school DVDs.
Many of the show’s benefits extolled by columnist Jeneé Osterheldt still exist. Numbers, colors, and cultures are all explored in creative ways. I believe in the educational benefits of such programming, but not at the expense of diction and comprehension.
Moreover, I find it especially offensive that in its push to introduce young viewers to new languages, “Sesame Street” does not give equal consideration to proper English when scripting much of Elmo’s content.
With a modest investment in DVDs or rentals, you can share the “Sesame Street” quality of your growing years, when the characters talked to children and not down to them.
Mary Catherine Newman