English is old. And I don’t mean the Anglo-Saxon language from the 5th century. I’m talking about the English you’re learning today, in class, in this country. Like, omg.
The language that is currently being taught in our educational institutes may no longer be sufficient for the real world in the near future. The way things are now with all the netspeak, texting, and tweeting, we may be digging ourselves a hole too deep to climb out of.
As a college student majoring in English, I express deep concerns for one of the world’s most commonly used languages of being butchered beyond repair. I’m sure you’re familiar with words such as “lmao” and “fml” and “MILF.” These are the type of words–if you can even call them words–that are used far more often than all the combined words found in an English 1A essay. On top of that, words are being misspelled and misused on a daily basis by pure ignorance. Call me a grammar Nazi all you want, but “there” does not mean “they are.” A sauce is used for consumption, not a place for info and gossip. And when did the word shit started meaning something good?
Can you imagine that sometime in the year 3000 archaeologists will be digging up our old writings and calling it an ancient form of text? It’s all possible at the rate that our languages are changing. In fact, why wait a thousand years? It’s not too much of a stretch to assume this can happen in just ten years.
As more and more people are using the Internet today, IM programs and social networking websites are becoming more popular. Statistically, there is no better way to get in touch with friends and family. Is it not more convenient to send a 5-word text to convey a message than it is to make a phone call and waste minutes? With a single post on Facebook, you can invite a multitude of people to your birthday party at once. In some situations, such as playing an online game, it is quicker to type out keywords and codes to your comrades. You don’t want to get caught by an enemy player all because you were standing still trying to type out a complete sentence.
But while it may be simpler and beneficial to do all these things, what’s actually happening is that we’ve succumbed to our laziness. So much that we’re even inventing words now such as “Engrish,” “pwn,” and “leggo,” and phrases like “wat yo 411?” and “give peace a chance.”
The Global Language Monitor estimates that there are now over 1 million words in the English language. And it wouldn’t surprise me that some of these newfound words are completely pointless, redundant, and unnecessary.
The way things are now has also been a huge influence on how we speak. I’m sure you, or a friend of yours, have been pronouncing the word “lol” in real life situations instead of laughing like a person would normally do. A lot of popular music has taken up the use of these new words, or invent their own, and rightfully so, because it’s how they can reach out to today’s audience. And in return, the trend spreads through their fans repeating what they’ve heard and using it casually. Yolo, right?
Also, it is not okay to call someone a Muggle outside of a Harry Potter roleplay.
With the younger generations growing up around this stuff, it wouldn’t be surprising to discover that your 10-year-old kid sister may be more hip than you ever will be. And that’s because she knows all there is to know to get through the 21st century like a boss. So whenever you need advice, don’t be afraid to ask your younger sibling or child.
Getting people to sit down and read a book these days is no longer easy as it sounds. And why? Because it takes too long, or there are words they don’t understand, or people have more important matters.
Sooner or later, we’ll be using nothing more than shortcut keys and emotes to communicate. We may very well end up having only a head with fingers, typing and clicking away like mutant maniacs. And remember this: the next time you claim to have swag, you should go learn it’s original definition first.
gg ttyl ^_^