R.I.P. English


FML, OMG, LOL. We are all well-versed in these text messaging short forms and, most likely, we are guilty of using them in our daily instant messaging conversations.

Though I need to come to terms with the fact that nobody will say things like, “I love you most ardently,” anymore; I can’t wrap my head around the rash increase of laziness developing in our language.

English has gone through fads and phases throughout the years, constantly being influenced by popular culture and the nature of the time period. It is expected that language evolves to help humanity better express themselves, yet never in history has language so rapidly changed in such a negative way.

It is the exponential increase in technology within the last 10 years that has provoked the demise of the English language. In our discovery of the joys of e-mail, instant messenger and text messaging, we have found that it is simply easiest to type “btw” instead of “by the way” as a way to squeeze in maximum information with minimal characters.

Occasional shortcuts like this may appear harmless, but we are beginning to see the effects these technologies have had on our everyday speech.

I can’t count the number of times I hear people using Internet slang in person.

When somebody told me to “TTC” I stood in utter confusion until it was explained to me that it means “text the cell.” Nothing, however, is quite as appalling as hearing a university professor using the term “OMG” in the midst of a lecture.

Witnessing slang and abbreviations seeping into our everyday speech is disturbing, especially in an institute of higher education.

Gone are the days of lengthy poetry and prose where words had the ability to evoke emotion.
Instead, we have become far too visually-based and want the emotional impact of a great novel instantaneously.

Perhaps this is just my elitist nature, as an English major, but watching the beauty of language get overlooked makes me weary for the future of our language.

We expect all forms of information and communication to come as easily as “g2g” thanks to everything in our world going instant.

This is illustrated in an article by Nicholas Carr titled, “Is Google Making Us Stupid?”

Well, the answer is an obvious yes. Though Google has its benefits, it also has its downsides, like making us less intelligent.

As Carr outlines, why pick up a book or discover any information for ourselves when we can receive the answer in a few short flicks on a keyboard? The long-term effects are even more severe.

In a recent study by University College London, the subjects’ Internet and reading habits were studied.

They found that not only were the subjects relying primarily on the Internet for information, but they were not even reading, rather skimming, articles online and hopping around from one site to another.

The study proves that these technologies have not only altered the way we read and think, but has severely damaged our attention spans.

Since words have become a hassle to speak, naturally they’ve become a hassle to learn. Microsoft Word serves as a haven for easy essay-writing where we can expand our vocabulary in just two clicks thanks to the built in thesaurus.

And, with the handy spell-check tool, there will never be the need to learn to spell properly.

The consequences of our language habits may not be as distressing to everyone, but in a world where simple words such as “hello” and “goodbye” are said to become obsolete within the next few years everyone should re-think their linguistic options.

Whether it’s a lazy tendency or a professor trying to be “cool” we need to stop pandering to a technology-obsessed generation before the splendour of the English language becomes non-existent.

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