Language IS understanding, which makes an author's use of language a clear guide to the nature of that author's understanding. As social decay is caused by a widespread decay in the clarity of thought, this must obtain a widespread decay in the clarity of expression. The symptoms of which can only be a general discarding of the disciplines of spelling, punctuation and grammar, along with the loss of short plain sentiments; evidence that is available to everyone and easy to recognise. Qualities that make consideration of the general use of language an ideal tool to diagnose decline and explain why the history of English literature is the diary of the rise then decline of English speaking civilisation.
The general deterioration in the quality of expression is an unavoidable part of personal experience that can be confirmed by: