Shakespeare created over 45,000 words. Do you think the English language has diminished over time?
Is higher level vocabulary being taught in schools and/or being used in society? Have we evolved or devolved (archaic use) with the English language? What is your reasoning?
Higher level vocabulary is not being taught in my local schools -- and vocabulary doesn't seem to be much of an issue at all, unfortunately. As for society, I don't know. I work as a trashman fulltime, so there's really no need for an exploration of the subtelties of the English language. I don't think that we've devloved because English is a constantly growing language. It is vibrant and alive, although I may not appreciate the direction it takes at times, such as with 'yolo' and vairous other abbrieviations. And while Mr. Shakespeare may be credited with the creation of 45,000 words it is only because the OED requires a word to appear in print before acceptance as a word in the English language, and his first folio truly gathered a tremendous amount of the English language under one umbrella.
I would say yes, since "stick-to-it-iveness" has become an actual word used on television without everyone laughing.
I took a linguistics course this past semester. It seems that language is constantly evolving, and certain expression in Shakespeare's day would no longer make sense today. we loose words, we gain words, words change in meaning, context, even pronunciation. To say that English has diminished is inaccurate.
I don't think it's diminished, though it does sometimes seem to be used badly. Language is exciting because it evolves, because new words are absorbed and because we have regional variations. I do think more time should be spent on vocabulary in schools, how we use it to best effect, for argument or for clearly stating what we mean.
Shakespeare was talented and knowledgeable as far as language was concerned; we have many writers now who are just as good in manipulating their language. With less exam-driven schooling we could develop more writers; they would have time to experiment and to follow their instincts.
My one gripe, however, is that presenters and speakers on television and radio often do not have the high standard required to be a good example of the spoken word.
I can see how some slang terms and the increasing use of profanity might make one feel that way. I suppose in some ways our language has diminished. But there are ways that it has increased, such as with all the new words related to thechnology, which other languages have adapted to fit into their vernacular. Personally, I find it intriguing to see the different ways that world's languages inspire each other.
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