technologies' effect on how we use EnglishHow are new technologies affecting English language use?

7 Answers

e-martin's profile pic

e-martin | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

In my experience, I feel that I have witnessed a significant increase in hyperbole over the last two decades. A person could have once said, "That was a really good movie," and that would have seemed like a recommendation.

Today the same phrase carries little weight and even may have the effect of communicating a negative opinion because, often, recommendations utilize phrasing like, "best ever" and "incredibly good", etc. To recieve a comment like "really good" is almost to be damned by faint praise, as the saying goes.

To me, this increase in hyperbole has to do with competition. There are so many voices coming at us at a high volume (via technology), one way to be heard is to raise the figurative volume of our commentary, going to extremes of praise and derision.  

litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I can think of a different, almost opposite example of technology's effect on English usage.  A few years ago I was buying a car, and when the salesman found out I was an English teacher he started asking me grammar questions.  He was an older guy.  He said his writing never really mattered to him until the invention of widespread use of email.  Now he is embarrassed to use incorrect grammar.  So much is written now, instead of spoken.

tiburtius's profile pic

tiburtius | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted on

Being from non English speaking country one thing I noticed is how people who don't speak English use computer translators such as google translate whether to communicate or simply to translate a few of their sentences into English language.

This is good because it helps bring people closer but one should always bear in mind restrictions of such computer programs and not loose motivation for learning English or any other foreign language. For anyone who is interested in future of computer translators I suggest you to see the following links: youtube and technologyreview.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I think the main way that they are doing this is by encouraging the use of abbreviations and such.  My kids sometimes actually say things like "OMG," just saying it out as the letters when speaking.  It's even more this way with written language.  That's the main effect that I can see.