Posted by Rachel Nauen
Many people get riled up about the current state of the English language. The introduction of instant messaging and texting into the lives of Americans has greatly affected the way we communicate, and many are not happy about it.
Our language is changing daily. According to MSNBC, the Oxford Dictionaries Online have recently added a number of new words to the dictionary, including sexting, buttload, and nom nom. To the dismay of English teachers everywhere, instant messaging lingo is sneaking into academic papers across the country. Newspapers and magazines are battling the 24/7 communication cycle as it cuts into the time that used to be spent editing copy.
Advocates of adapting the English language to reflect today’s society state that keeping up with the times is key to survival. “Language is always changing, evolving, and adapting to the needs of its users,” says Betty Birner of the Linguistic Society of America. “It changes for several reasons. First, it changes because the needs of its speakers change. New technologies, new products, and new experiences require new words to refer to them clearly and efficiently.”
However, some people are not letting the language adapt to the current times without a fight. Moaning the loss of meaningful contact and correct grammar, enemies of the “textese” movement say our language is changing for the worse. Gene Weingarten, a writer at the Washington Post, cries, “Beset by the need to cut costs, and influenced by decreased public attention to grammar, punctuation and syntax in an era of unedited blogs and abbreviated instant communication, newspaper publishers have been cutting back on the use of copy editing, sometimes eliminating it entirely.”
Should we work on separating the influence of technology from our language? Do you find influences from texting and instant messaging in your written work or the work around you? Is our language heading in the “wrong” direction?