Language Change

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English Language
Section B Language Change - Practise Essay

4. Texts I and J both provide advice about dancing etiquette. Text I is from How To Dance. A Complete Ball-Room and Party Guide, published 1878. Text J is from an article, ‘Dancing to Romance’, from The Boyfriend Book, a girls’ annual published in 1965. 
Referring to both texts in detail, and to relevant ideas from language study, discuss how language has changed over time.

Language is a fluid and flexible phenomenon which experiences vast change on a regular basis. Theorists such as David Crystal have taken an open-minded approach to such change, explaining that “there is no predictable direction for the changes that are taking place. They are just that: changes. Not changes for the better; nor changes for the worse; just changes, sometimes going one way, sometimes another.” This statement articulates the prescriptivist view that language is an organic part of life which evolves and grows to suit the needs of its contextual time, just as living organisms do.

Texts I and J show a distinct journey of change in the English lexicon between 1878 and 1965, ranging from graphological features through to the individual lexical choices and even the ways in which the audience of each of the texts is addressed. In exploring these texts, conclusions will be drawn as to the extent of the change that language has undergone, and what the causes, and indeed the impacts of these changes may have been.

One of the most notable differences between these texts is their graphological presentation. Text I is composed in an expressly simple way, using a serif typeface which was likely to have been produced on a printing press, given that the text itself appears to have jagged edges, implying that ink had been applied to a block or stamp in order to produce the text - something uncommon to contemporary means of printing. It is also interesting to note the complete lack of images, and the justified alignment of...
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