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Modern times call for a modern language

Updated on April 13, 2011

The English Language is continuously evolving

The other week my little teenage brother went in a huff with me for some reason, (although it was probably for no reason whatsoever.) In his pit of anger he shouted at me "You're just gay!".
Later that day I watched a film, Good Fellas, in which there is a song. The lyrics include the word 'gay'.
"Pretend you don't see her my heart, although she is coming our way.
Pretend you don't need her my heart, but smile and pretend to be gay."

Now I believe this raises a fairly valid point, you see the language we use is changing right before our very eyes. No more than 50 years a go, the word 'Gay' meant happy, now it's used as a slanderous term for a person who is a homosexual. The same happened for the word 'Queer', which used to mean odd.
But that's not the only example. The word 'Sick' now often means 'Cool', the word 'Mean' means 'Nice', the language is getting turned upside down!

Even the way words are written has been changed, now 'Today' has a 2 in it, and 'Later' has an 8 somewhere.
So where does this end? When sentences are written in binary? Well, I wouldn't be so doubtful, after all, that is a modern language.

010010000110010101101100011011000110111100100000010000010110110001101100 - Translation: Hello all

In the past

This is a very divided subject, the older generations may laugh at people my own age writing things in a short hand combination of letters and numbers, but why? Throughout history people have laboured over the language, continuously moulding it into the perfect form. It wasn't even until the 15th Century we had a J. Look at the Ancient Egyptians before that, who used hieroglyphics to write on walls etc.
I can bet a pound to a penny that people were up in arms when the letter W was added in the 10th Century, although most couldn't read then.
Our language has had to adapt in the past. Latin was scrapped for a more easily used and more durable language which is what we have today. So in this age of Mobile phones and the Internet, the language has again adapted, to be of use within our changing life-styles.

Is it to stay?

Nowadays, everyone is distracted due to one thing or another. Whether it's work, video games, films, going out, looking after people, cooking, cleaning, driving, teaching, playing...the list is endless. People need a writing style to keep up. How can we progress if we're still on the first sentence, making it completely grammatically correct? It's not even like writing in 'Text Speak' as it's called is not legible. "u cumin out l8r?". Why not even cut out the middle man and use abbreviations for entire sentences? ATM- At the Moment. LOL - Laugh out Loud, and many others.
Even businesses have started putting it into practice, look at modern adverts, and company names. "Phones4U", U Switch, etc.

I personally welcome this change in language. For starters, it's faster, which in today's world counts for everything and it's easier. As for traditional values, well. What is traditional? After all, aren't our values ever changing. Surely if traditional values are not to change, we should be living in caves, like our ancient ancestors?
So, when I get a text message, replacing words for letters, I'll not laugh at the person's lack of grammatical knowledge, after all, it's more innovative than primitive.
But that's just what I think.

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    • Ryan-Palmsy profile image
      Author

      Ryan Palmer 5 years ago from In a Galaxy far, far away

      It is isn't it! Thanks htodd!

    • htodd profile image

      htodd 5 years ago from United States

      Voted up,English language is really great

    • Ryan-Palmsy profile image
      Author

      Ryan Palmer 6 years ago from In a Galaxy far, far away

      @ Cheap Trick, thanks for commenting! Perhaps that's the destination of the modern language, I'm sure my parents, with 3 teenagers, say that people already speak in grunts! Thanks for voting too!

      @ Lobonorth, again thanks for commenting! Perhaps, I know sometimes I write in a combination of numbers and letters, although this is very rare when I'm very rushed. You raise a good point however, and love your insightful comments!

    • lobonorth profile image

      lobonorth 6 years ago

      I think that you are correct and amusing at the same time and that's not easy! However, I suspect that how we write is somewhat ruled by the medium we are using to write and the audience we are writing to much in the same way our behavior changes depending on where we are and who we are with.

      As usual, a good and enjoyable hub that gets my "up" vote.

    • cheaptrick profile image

      cheaptrick 6 years ago from the bridge of sighs

      Well kiddo,your exactly right about language evolving.There is the law of cycles to be reckoned with however.Will language go full circle to the point that we communicate with grunts and hand signals?Perhaps it would be a better world.Of all the weapons ever created the most destructive buy far has been language.But,we take the good with the bad and do the best we can...until clairvoyance ends the need for language and there are no secrets or lies or any form of private thinking.Why not write a hub about that?BTW:)Did you know that the word fagot[referring to homosexuals]was originally used to describe a bundle of sticks for starting cooking fires?Very nice hub.voted up.

      Dean

    • Ryan-Palmsy profile image
      Author

      Ryan Palmer 6 years ago from In a Galaxy far, far away

      I tend to use the 'proper' approach to spelling and writing too, as I always have! But in some respects things should change in school so people are taught both methods of writing full, and shortened sentences. If you're trained as a reporter, or other positions involving writing lots of information in a short time you're taught to write 'Teeline short-hand', which is I suppose a similar idea to using text-speak. In other industries you're trained to use acronyms, and abbreviations. Grammatically correct sentences are unfortunately becoming outdated. =/

    • LoopyGem profile image

      LoopyGem 6 years ago from Canada

      LOL U have a way with wrds!

      I happen to like both ways. If I am in a hurry, I will use the quick method, if I am trying to convey something that needs to look more like I "know" what I am talking about I will spell the words out "properly". I think this is just an image that it portrays. I recently saw a joke that went like this...

      " I texted my son this morning, Have a good day. Good luck on your test. What time will you be home?" This is what I got back, "U2 TKS and IDK". And we wonder why our children are failing English."

      Ha!