The Language Paradox

Let’s face it. If you had a time travel machine, you would find language changing quite rapidly due to the driving force of technology.

If you travelled to the past, you may identify with Elizabethan English of Shakespeare, But thou art not quickly moved to strike, but go farther than that to say 1300 a.d. of the England of Chaucer, uh oh. Can you say Whan Zephirus eek with his swete breeth?

Or go back further to Beowulf’s England of circa 975-1000 a.d…Oft Scyld Scefing sceaþena þreatum, monegum mægþum, meodosetla ofteah, egsode eorlas.

What!?

Language has changed slowly in the past as slowly as communication. When our ancestors walked the earth, they walked. Hardly anyone has a horse to ride on. So with language. Sure, language has changed as the above examples show, but it has changed slowly.

But use your time travel machine to go into the future and you will quickly find our language changing faster. Reason? Our communication channels have rapidly accelerated throughout the world due to our technology: The Internet, email, blogs, Facebook and social media.

In our lifetime, we may see changes in our language that may seem incomprehensible to our parents and grandparents living today.

What do we do? Can we do anything to hold onto our language? Should we?

Tune in next time for my informed opinion. Happy time traveling!

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