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  1. ILTBY
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    ILTBY Contributing Member Contributor

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    English language changing

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by ILTBY, Oct 13, 2007.

    Is the English language changing all around the world or is it just here (Australia)? I've recently found out that the way we speak and write is changing over here. Hippopotami is now hippopotamuses, cacti is now cactuses, octopi is now octopuses, etc. They're also changing the way things are pronounced, 'innovative' for example, is now pronounced 'in-naw-vat-ive'.

    This came as a big shock to me. What do you guys think about this?
     
  2. Torana
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    Torana Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think that it is complete garbage for them to change the way in which words are pronounced. I mean we managed quite fine over the years with the way we hve spoken the english language so why should it be changed?

    Don't fix something that isn't broken!
     
  3. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    In Britain, the language is dying. Abreviations and chatspeak are becoming more common than straight English, and illiteracy is becoming more and more common. Standards are slipping, and I find it infuriating that people in my own English class, who have been through primary and secondary schooling, can have no understanding of grammar or spelling. On the grammar front, it simply isn't taught. I can feel whether a sentance is right or not, but I haven't ever been taught English grammar in a technical sense. Most of my knowledge there is self-taught, or transplanted from what I've learnt of German grammar.

    Sorry about that tirade, but it's something that gets me riled up.
     
  4. Torana
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    Torana Contributing Member Contributor

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    Banzai all we were taught through school was where and how to use basic punctuation. Commas, quesiton marks, exclamation marks. (however it is spelt)

    The never taught structure of a sentence, etc. The english language is like that over here as well though. It is all slang that I hear on a daily basis. It is infuriating but I do the same thing now. People don't like big words. They are too hard to understand. Simple and effective is all people care for and whatever slang you are able to use.

    I mean I know people that walk around and literally say. "It's just not cricket!" when something goes wrong or doesn't work the way they want it to. One day there will be no one left who will understand the english language as soon all we will hear well be complete and utter dribble spilling from the mouths of fools.
     
  5. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    I have no issue with idioms like that, Torana. It's when people use abreviations like "u" and "r" in essays (which, surprisingly enough, does happen), and the dreaded "lol", which is contagious, and has even infected me :mad:

    And on the sentence structure and all that, I know it isn't well taught at all, and that's my problem. People to who English is their second language have a better knowledge of the grammar than I do, and I find it very infuriating, because I feel ignorant :(
     
  6. Torana
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    Torana Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yes but idioms are way too over used these days. Scary thing is that there was course I was looking at a while back all about idioms......

    and yes the written art of literature is changing. You are pretty bad on msn at times you know.

    And I know exactly what you mean about the grammar thing. I am pretty bad with grammar. It is very tragic.
     
  7. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    :eek: You aren't so innocent yourself :p
     
  8. Torana
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    Torana Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah well.....I know :p I blame you for that!
     
  9. Pnin
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    Pnin Member

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    I cannot share your pessimistic views on this matter. Languages aren't static, they are formed by the people and are, because of exposure to different influences, always in a process of change. I myself am a non-native speaker of English, and what I've learnt and seen over the years is that dialects and any discrepanices from the "standard" English language are often considered to be somewhat inferior. I have never understood that, because I think that dialects enrich a language.

     
  10. Peter
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    Peter Member

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    Yes, language is changing all over the world. It has always been changing, and it will continue to change. Nothing stays the same.

    As for "idioms". The language I speak myself is Scots, which even today is sometimes referred to as "slang", something that irritates the hell out of me. Some people don't seem to understand that the way you talk has no bearing whatsoever on whether you can understand standard written Enlgish. Accent does not equal intelligence.
     
  11. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    Scots is a language itself, isn't it?

    And Pnin, I think you just illustrated my point about grammar for me, there :p
     
  12. Skipdonahue
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    Skipdonahue Member

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    The English language changes from decade to decade. Change with it or perish.
     
  13. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    Bah, I guess I'm just a traditionalist then. I think people should understand the language they pertain to speak.
     
  14. Weaselword
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    Weaselword Banned

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    By "pertain" do you mean "purport"?

    Just asking. :)

    British English isn't dying, I assure you. Changing, yes.
     
  15. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    Oh for the love of God...

    Yes, thank you Weaselword, I did. I blame my tiredness, and the fact I have an hour and a half til work.
     
  16. Frost
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    Frost Contributing Member

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    Don't get so riled up. No need for it. Relax. Eventually, the language will change again from slang. And to tell the truth, I'd rather the path we're on now rather than the whole Shakespere(sp?) crap.
     
  17. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    You mean Gaelic?
     
  18. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Or perhaps Gaelic?

    Language does evolve through popular use and misuse that becomes so pervasive as to become accepted, such as using "leverage" as a verb.

    That doesn't prevent me from getting annoyed when someone commits verbicide in front of me!
     
  19. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    language is always changing!... english perhaps more than any other, as it's a blend of so many other languages to begin with... no language exposed to the modern world can remain static for long... and now, with so many of us all over the globe connected to each other via the internet and tv, change takes place much more swiftly and often... plus, we notice it immediately...
     
  20. Damian_Rucci
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    Damian_Rucci Member

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    English is getting pretty bad where I am in the US, people in my school talk like totally wrong and on the internet it is even worse
     
  21. Frost
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    Frost Contributing Member

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    Like I said, what's wrong ten years ago isn't wrong today. I will point it out now, slang changes from year to year almost, so it's only natural that language itself changes from time to time as well. Does it matter? No, no it doesn't. It just means that the way we communicate is different than to what it was when you lot were growing up :p. So who cares? If you can't adapt, you'll never know what anyone is talking about, so it's best you stop complaining and start adapting!
     
  22. TheFedoraPirate
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    TheFedoraPirate Contributing Member

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    Well, I'll just be wrong and say hippopotomi. :D
     
  23. Domoviye
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    Domoviye Contributing Member

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    English is one of the most convoluted languages in the world because it has been changing since day one.
    The language has stolen words from all over the world and will continue to do so, whenever English speakers find interesting new words that they think are useful. More importantly English has spread all over the world, so English speakers have formed separate groups and use different dialects almost, of English.
    If English was more centralized this would be different. But English is the second largest first language in the world, and it is the largest second language for foreign speakers. Only Mandarin has more people speaking it, and it's mostly only spoken in China, and by Chinese immigrants.
    So we have enormous groups of Native English speakers in Australia, South Africa, British Isles, North America, and smaller groups of Native English speakers in dozens of countries throughout the world. At the same time English is entering almost every other country in the world, and these people are introducing their own slang, terms, words, and in some cases grammar.
    How could English not change?
    Companies, governments, and people have already differentiated Australian, British, Canadian, American, and South African English, picking and choosing which accent they like best on a yearly basis. With the number of Chinese English speakers, some people are considering naming Chinglish its own dialect of English.
    From speaking with lots of people face to face, the numerous ways people speak English is kind of staggering. As time goes on it will keep changing. Just read speeches, and books from fifty or more years ago.
    Also its good that English is changing to meet its needs.
    If English didn't change it would have the same problem French is having right now. The French language doesn't introduce new words until a Council in Paris releases them. So French speakers are forced to use English words for new ideas and objects that weren't around a few decades ago. This has caused serious problems as computers and technology have exploded in the last 2 decades. French engineers are unable to use French to explain technology to each other, or students. People are becoming sick of it.
     
  24. ILTBY
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    ILTBY Contributing Member Contributor

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    A lot of interesting comments :) And some really good points.

    I see no problem in the English language changing, I see a problem in it getting worse. It saddens me to think how much we swear these days, how much slang is used, how much Internet talk is used, how lazy people are with spelling, etc.
     
  25. PrincessGarnet
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    PrincessGarnet Contributing Member

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    Here in Britain I've noticed some British words changing for american ones, which depresses me. I'm sure the postman when I was younger used to bring post, now he brings mail. Also I hate HATE it when people repeatedly use the word 'like' in a sentence. That comes from America and it is so annoying - even more so when i notice myself doing it. I've counted someone doing it 6 times throughout a sentence, it's extremely hard to listen to them. Oh also the word 'so' and 'totally'.

    I also wish we could get the two different variations of 'you' back as I think it is needed, and I don't really like using yous or even worse you'all. Thou use to be informal, and you was formal.
     

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