Is Language Falling to Pieces?

by / 1 Comment / 76 View / April 27, 2015

Language is the tool used by humanity to articulate the situations, abstract thoughts and emotions that are experienced. It is a vehicle through which we derive understanding. It is the way we communicate, the way we form relationships and the way we cultivate our minds. English is one of the most fascinating languages, for it is constantly evolving. Therefore, as a speaker of English I would say I am a perpetually learning student. There is no way I will ever know everything there is to know about the English language. Of course I know the alphabet, I study the history of the language, I memorize the grammatical rules, I could engrain the words of the Oxford English Dictionary into my memory, but still, I would not be a master of the English language.

There is no possible way for me to read every book that has ever been published. I would never be able to mimic every accent. There are slang and words that are considered the “cool way” to say simple things that confuse me endlessly. I don’t think I could even obtain every piece of poetry, and when it comes to short stories there is no way for me to find them all riveting. There will always be something new, something “up and coming”. Older texts will always be pushed aside in favor of newer, more popular texts. Regardless of how hard a person tries, there is no way to read every piece of literature.

Language is a large part of who I am. It has influenced my thoughts and ultimately shaped me into the person that I am today. I love diction and syntax. I love to read it, and I could spend hours analyzing it. That doesn’t keep me from abusing it. I would say that I am a “delinquent” as a speaker of English. More and more the Millennial Generation is abandoning the use of proper English in favor of slang and other crude forms of the English language. Though this is common — a daily occurrence — this is an unacceptable reality. The English language is being butchered daily, and in order to preserve proper English we must encourage future generations to learn the proper forms of the language.  Like many of my peers, I am guilty of butchering the English language in text messages, informal emails and in my daily speech. I am constantly abbreviating and misusing words. Though I love English, I tend to ignore the rules passed down throughout the ages. This is almost shameful, for as an English speaker I feel that I have an advantage over many others; it is such a complicated language to learn, and it is a language that is widely used throughout the world.  The Millennial Generation needs to stop turning the English language into simplified slang and abbreviation. We, as a generation, are ruining language by allowing it to be altered in to a simplistic form. We collectively need to appreciate the proper form of the language and learn to use it in its proper and most effective way.

  • bub

    Proper English is not something that actually exists – what we call proper English, parsed sentences, subjunctive, imperfect, past present future conjunctions prepositions fanboys, all that cool jazz, is really a fluid combination of different influences, ranging from the linguistic to the cultural to simply temporal. stop channeling your own get-off-my-lawn old guy from gran torino pls

    The basis of English – of any language is communication. Sure, “Millenial slang” (which, really, what does that even mEAN?) quickens language. In some ways, it simplifies it. But in many others, it adds nuances and culture that people overlook and disrespect because of the youth of the demographic that most uses it. And even if it did simplify English and by that simplification disrespect it, simplification also does not determine the worth or non-worth of a language; for example, Spanish has one of the smallest information densities in the world. People that speak Spanish have to speak much more than people in France or Germany to get the same message across – and yet Spanish is the second most-spoken language in the world.

    Anyways, by equating “proper English” with being the “most effective”, you not only attack those aforementioned cultural influences, but also show a stunning lack of foresight and understanding of how languages work. English has evolved (arguably, devolved) over the years since its inception. Arguing that a certain time period of English was the pinnacle of its existence is shortsighted and devalues English as a rich language with a long history.

    P.S. Remember, Shakespeare liked dick jokes.
    P.P.S. The use of the word ‘like’ in everyday teenager conversations and dialogue has had several papers written on it as a cultural and linguistic phenomenon. So. Like. Pretty cool! I guess we’re not the generation in which everything will go to shit! Maybe it’s completely normal to experiment with language and different methods of communication??