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The Evolution Of The English Language

862 words - 4 pages

BRB, LOL, TTYL, these are all common terms found on most people, specifically teens, cell phones these days. Slowly but surely more and more Americans are turning to rapid-fire forms of communication, and they are creating new words and abbreviations such as those previously mentioned. So then are these quick “butcherings” of the English language having a positive or negative impact on peoples writing skills? I believe so, however only to a certain extent. Texting and speaking are two different things whereas one doesn’t necessarily display one’s literacy but the other definitely does. In my own personal experience, the way someone texts typically doesn’t usually portray how good of a writer ...view middle of the document...

Mr. Orwell stated “A bad usage can spread by tradition and imitation, even among people who should and do know better”. This statement is true as are several things in life where one becomes the same as their surroundings. Orwell goes on to say that he agrees the language is “very convenient” and even he uses it. In a sense then, language is slowly “declining” by typical standards but in reality if it makes sense and is necessary then any means to shorten what someone wants to say is acceptable. In fact, Orwell even says that archaic and useful phrases should be thrown into the “dustbin” (Orwell 717). Also many people don’t use “big” words or formal diction as much as they used too because they would look foolish if they did so.
Steven Pinker’s essay which involves why people don’t say what they mean, characterizes the idea that often times people say one thing when they really mean another. In texting for instance,” we should hang out at the movies” doesn’t usually mean that the person wants to do that but rather that they have other intentions. Pinker details the diction that people use depending on the relationship. One example he uses is that of warm acquaintances who treat each other as “equals.” Mr. Pinker’s main idea that we “sheathe our words in politeness and innuendo” serves to say that people often times don’t really say what they mean because they wish to save face. In online communication this is seen numerous times but doesn’t usually involve any so-called...

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