Losing our Language: The Deterioration of the English Language
The English language has and continues to rapidly evolve within the United States and around different places throughout the world. Even though there is uniformity in the Standard English language, it also exists in many varieties such as dialects and registers as stated by John Algeo in The Origins and Development of the English Language. Dialects are a variety of languages that are associated with a specific place, social level, ethnic group, gender, and age group that help define who someone is and where they are come from. Meanwhile, registers are varieties of languages used for particular purposes, for example, sermon language showing distinctive rhythm, telephone conversation language, and e-mail and instant-messaging language which uses mostly abbreviations; registers indicate who you are addressing, the medium, subject, and purpose (11). With these language variations in mind we can concur that people’s imprecision, misapplication, and the deliberate manipulation of the language causes its deterioration as well as the influences of modern technology. The English language has been deteriorating because of the modern e-mail and chat room language abbreviations, incorporation of different dialects depending on culture, and the inappropriate use of words as well as incorrect spelling.
Modern technological advances and changes are causing the English language to deteriorate or degrade rapidly. The recent expansion of e-mail, chat room, and messaging communication has quickly left harmful effects on the way people communicate to one another. Communications between users occur at a fast pace since they are attempting to keep up with the incoming information in real time. The feeling of anxiety to receive, process, and react to a message causes the person to respond with brief and shorten words. Shorter phrases are usually preferred as well as words because they are easier to spell and less time consuming. In the article “SOS: Written English in Trouble” Joyce Lynn Garrett states, “text speak, emoticons, and the more casual language of e-mail have found their way into everyday writing” (8). In other words, e-mails, messaging, and chatting have modernized spelling and the way we speak. In “The Internet and the English Language,” Terence Carter claims that, “[a] variation of stenography has almost become the standard lingo for the transmission of information on the Net” (par. 10). Before text messaging became part of our daily routine, people were able to distinguish between proper speech and grammar used specifically for important communications from e-mail or chatting developed language mainly from abbreviations (lol-laugh out loud, ttyl-talk to you later, or u-you). People are no longer able to notice their grammatical and mechanical errors made when writing e-mails or chats since they have already made it a habit writing in this manner. However, the spelling and grammar tool in the computer has a lot to do with these errors going undetected since incorrect grammatical or spelling changes are suggested or automatically change (Garrett 9). It can be seen that Internet communication has its own language and grammar rules, rules that don’t fall under the standards of proper English. It is yet to be discovered whether this is a progression of the language or a stage that must last until the medium advances. Carter agrees that [o]nly when a comfortable medium between today's "net-speak" and standard English is reached, can we hope to see any substantial positive changes in the English language (par. 17).
People whose first language is English, have quite an advantage since English is the official language of eighty countries and favors as language of congresses, commercial negotiations, journals, music, sports, technology, and industry among others dealing with international participation as mentioned by Salzmann (Language, Culture, and Society: An...
Cited: Algeo, John. The Origins and Development of the English Language. 6th ed. Boston: Wadsworth, 2005. 11, 197. Print.
---. The Cambridge History of the English Language: English in North America. Vol. 6. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2001. 220. Print.
Carter, Terence. “The Internet and the English Language” Writer’s Block. WritersBlock.com, 1999. Web. 13 April 2010.
Garrett, Joyce Lynn. “SOS: Written English is in Trouble.” Kappa Delta Pi Record 45.1(2008): 8-9. The H.W. Wilson Company/Wilsonweb. Web. 17 February 2010.
Salzmann, Zdenek. Language, Culture, and Society: An Introduction to Linguistic Anthropology. 4th ed. Boulder: Westview Press, 2007. 173. Print.
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