Monday, 28 September 2015

How Will We Speak In The Future?

Will the common word survive the technological age?

A word has so many facets and it can be arranged alongside other words to make the most divine meanings, sentiments and essays. The mere word has power behind it. Words and their use of them, defines us as a society.

A friend gave me a book by Melvyn Bragg The Adventure of English and it is fascinating to follow the long journey of the English language and its adaption in order to survive.

The Adventure of English. The Biography of a Language (Sceptre)

Even the French language has been partly absorbed and tweaked in order for English to have longevity. I find it so interesting to see how the various words we use today came about. Take the phrase old codger for instance. Centuries ago, the wealthy ( mostly royalty really ) had the ability, money and time to do sports. Falconry being one of them.

In these times, the gentry spoke French while the serfs spoke English. So, in Falconry, there used to be an elderly man who carried the hawks in a cage ( cadge ) and that might explain our use of the word ( old ) codger!

Despite the language changing during the various centuries, it has survived as a language. Well, by that I mean that we can use word and string them together to form a sentence or sentiment. Words in their entirety. But, here is where the future of languages might be under threat.

The main communication at the moment seems to be via social media and often done via a Smartphone. In itself that should be fine yet, words are getting abbreviated, letters dropped and prose left out. When you only communicate in bite ( or should I say byte ) size chunks of 144 character, the beauty of our languages will cease to be.

The abbreviated from has taken hold with the youngsters. Numbers have morphed with letters in pursuit of more space.

Great = gr8
Lots of love = lol
Liebe Grüsse = LG
As Far As I Know = ASFAIK
Before = B4
Some of these have crossed my keyboard and they shouldn't have. When you think about it, in that short blink of a moment in history, a new language has and is morphing. The language of Internet.

Do you remember those times at school where you had to read a book for class. A book in the old language of the middle ages? An original Shakespeare or a Goethe, where you had to focus on each line in order to understand it. These old texts are not like a novel that we can read without looking up the meaning of words.

It worries me, that the young people of today will look at ordinary novels as works that need firstly a dictionary and secondly lots of persuasion to read. Somehow, the love of reading which has already declined, will dwindle into a trickle and the ability to live an adventure through the pages of a book, might be lost. And how sad would that be?