Describe elaborately the effects of language change in our life?Describe elaborately the effects of language change in our life?

2 Answers | Add Yours

mwestwood's profile pic

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Language is culture.  So, the changes in language are effected by the changes in the lives of the users of this language.  To say the least, there have been many  corruptions of the English/American language thanks to this abbreviated age in which we now find ourselves. 

One salient example is the use of lowercase letters in text messages, on the computer, etc.  Whereas the use of the lowercase i was a glaring indication of language ignorance and backwardness, now it is acceptable in texting and related instances.  Abbreviations are commonplace; simple sentences expeditious and not necessarily an indication of a simple mind or lack of education.  Gone, too, are the days of precision in expression.  As long as "you know what I mean" the "communication" is accepted by many.

What would the classical writers think today in this world of expeditious language that ignores the beauty of the mot juste?

stolperia's profile pic

stolperia | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Since you are a college senior, I am old enough to be your grandmother, so let's use that as a time frame for talking about how language can change over the course of one's lifetime.

One of the most obvious changes in my mind is in the use of the word "gay." When I was growing up, it was a very good thing to be feeling "gay," because that meant you were feeling very happy and carefree and ready to have fun. A "faggot" was a piece of wood that could be used to start a campfire at that time in my life. Common usage of those terms has completely changed. I miss being able to use "gay" in the old sense, as it was a delightful way to succinctly capture a frame of mind.

And perhaps that makes it a prime illustration of "the effects of language change in our life." As the language has expanded to cope with all the technology that has come into existence, people have become more creative in the development of names and words to describe processes - acronyms have become much more important, although they really stretch to fulfill their purpose at times. As we as a culture have become more sensitive to the variety of human conditions, we have become more aware of the connotations that certain words or phrases might carry - and are hopefully considering our language more thoughtfully as a result. As world cultures become more closely connected through technology, words from other languages are being incorporated into everyone's daily usage regardless of their actual knowledge of those other languages - which I feel enriches our life experience.

We’ve answered 318,955 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question