Questioning Language: Does the Evolution of Our Language Reveal Our National Intelligence?
I’ve been thinking about language. Language is a living and changing thing. It changes slowly, but it does change. Based upon how the majority of speakers of a language use words some fall into disuse, change meaning, change spelling, or any number of other things. Gay is not used to mean happy anymore. Nobody says gadzooks (Chrome doesn’t even recognize it as a real word). Encyclopedia lost its æ. ‘You and me’ is now accepted in place of ‘you and I’. Words change. Language evolves, but not always for the better.
The thing I have been thinking of most is words changing spelling. Specifically, does this change happen because people can’t spell words? Will ‘your’ one day be an acceptable form of ‘you are’? Are contractions now just accepted as whole words rather than a mash up of two other words? WTF has entered the lexicon as a word (of sorts) that expresses an emotion or reaction far more than actual expression of ‘what the fuck’. What is our language becoming? Will we recognize it when we are old?
The grammar nazis are losing. Intelligence is dying. Unless we actually choose to turn away from it and celebrate intelligence, grammar, and proper use of words, our language and our society is fucked. Newspeak for all! I wonder how George Orwell would feel knowing that we are moving ever closer to his satirized language. I think he would be disappointed, I know I am.