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A History Of Language Essay

741 words - 3 pages

The history of the English language is a fascinating topic, and throughout his essay, Myers discusses the ways in which American English has changed recently. There are many reasons for this change, such as wars, increased technology, social movements, and the pure passage of time, but each of those and their components have had their own effect on the English language that is used on a day to day basis today.
Wars and social movements have affected the everyday use of language in that there are old words have different meanings than before. Some examples of these words are trenches and gas, as in mustard gas. Also, it called for the development of new words, such as tanks, fighter jets, and drones. While one may need background in the topic of war, or the particular war, once one learns these words they never forget what they mean, such as agent orange, a defoliant used in the Vietnam War, which caused medical problems for many U.S. soldiers; or napalm, a petroleum-jelly like substance, which burns extremely fiercely; those are just a couple of the many examples of words that wars and the military have contributed to the present American English language. An example of the plethora of words added to the present dictionary due to social movements would be feminism. The aforementioned word describes an ideology in which advocates advocate for the equality of women’s rights as it pertains to all aspects of life. This is, again, just one of the cornucopia of words that have been added to the American English language via social movements.
Increased technology has affected the everyday use of language because it has simplified it dramatically. This meaning that by using and overusing words the technology savvy generation has simplified words by the use of social media, such as twitter. An example of this would be “selfie,” a term to describe a picture of one that is primarily shared on social media; usually the person that is the object of the picture is making a silly face or not looking their nicest. This world could easily be conveyed using the term “self-picture” or “picture of oneself,” but the current...

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