Language, spelling: Grammar; Future ∆nd the Kidz

Please note I am not a linguist, I just really like the debate. 


Before reading this and getting upset remember this: You are wrong, and the kids are right.

Consider this quote from True Detective. Context: Jake's father-in-law complaining about "kids today"

You know, throughout history, I bet every old man probably said the same thing. And old men die. And the world keeps spinning.
— Jake Herbert - True Detective

 

 I used to get really upset about the changes I saw in language. I'd rail against "Textspeak" and how people were spelling these days.  I would share memes on SM laughing at people who say "ur, lol and bae", and I would mock your poor usage of apostrophes. (Something which this article will clearly show as hypocritical)

In my work and my life I am surrounded by people of all ages, so its not a surprise when I get a message from someone using Textspeak. After a while, I considered the people who were sending me these messages: Young, highly intelligent and talented people. Why would they write to me like that? Don't they have respect for their education and the simplicity of spelling correctly? 

It occurred to me finally ... that I was wrong. The future of language is not my language, the future of language is from the kids, it always has been and it always will be. The speed at which we communicate encourages short cuts and laziness. But ... it also encourages progress. This is exactly how I view Textspeak.

Consider: Geoffrey Chaucer is considered the father of English Literature, yet I cant understand a thing he's saying without massive concentration - seriously .... what even is this? 

Adam scriveyn, if ever it thee bifalle
Boece or Troylus for to wryten newe,
Under thy long lokkes thou most have the scalle,
But after my makyng thow wryte more trewe;
So ofte adaye I mot thy werk renewe,
It to correcte and eke to rubbe and scrape,
And al is thorugh thy negligence and rape.
— Chaucer’s Wordes unto Adam, His Owne Scriveyn

The English language is going through one of its greatest shifts since Chaucers time, I suspect our own style of writing will be incomprehensible within a very short period of time. Its exciting, its challenging and its going to happen. 

I am fascinated at the prospect of seeing where language is going to go. English is spoken the world over by millions of second language speakers, and they are going to help change this language. Perhaps our future English will become a truly inclusive global language?

I dont use textspeak much, but I'm not going to fight it anymore

brett rogersComment