Language, like everything else, has to evolve

Language is changing, whether we like it or not. Like lots of other educationalists I cringe when I see text-speak in an academic piece or work.  I don’t even like to see dis-emvoweled emails. Tech speak, once the domain of the geeks only, is invading our everyday speech in strange and unusual ways. Should we be worried?

Am I behind the times, not keeping up with the evolution of language, or am I right to protect my interpretation of good English?

Here are some of the newer examples of the evolution –

  • To refer to someone as “404” is the new way of saying they’re a bit slow. When a webpage goes awol and can’t be found, you get the 404 error message. So, someone who’s forgotten something or is a tad clueless about something is a 404. Marginally, less cutting than saying someone’s stupid…?.
  • Even send a text message without checking the predictive text? Apparently, lots of us don’t and the predictive text becomes the real thing – you want to say “cool” but end up with “book”. A book is now cool, and only right and proper too.
  • Here’s one I’m not keen on. Using the number of letters in the words of a well-used phrase to shorten it. The example: “I love you” becomes 143. Saying I-love-you is saying something profound to someone, “143” just doesn’t cut it for me.

U cn mk wht u lk of 8 bt i dnt lk it

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Posted on December 11, 2008, in Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. And, rather than making it easier and quicker, they slow down reading time. I’ve had to ring the texter because I haven’t understood what the hell they were saying. Head wrecking.

    143? Sweet Jesus!!

  2. Agreed Darren,
    143 could be a whole load of things – it could just as easily be “I hate you”!

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