Writely So 365

03/01/2009

1 Comment »

  1. Rightly or wrongly, language is a changing, evolving entity. It can not be expected to restrain its self in change just to please some people (not saying you are wrong). This is not the first, although admittedly one of the fastest shifts in change. During the 15th century there was a vowel shift, e’s became a’s, o became u’s, etc. Another shift happened in the late 16th early 17th that helped ‘standardized’ English, the printing press became widely used, and allowed formal dictionaries. Even then, English changed, as in the y replaced many i’s early 18th century. In the 19th century writing styles changed and the large structured, and bulky sentences that were prevalent (Hawthorne) shifted to more flowing and short (Emerson). Even in the ‘bad English’ that has spread, it is not ‘bad language.’ The structures are there, form and meaning still has place, it has just changed. My favorite examples of language change are awful and artificial.
    Awful, when broken down means Full of Awe, or wonderment, amazement. How it became ‘full of bad’ I have no clue.
    Artificial, while the meaning has stayed the same, not of nature, the connotation has changed. Originally it implied a good thing, man made, not of the darkness of wilderness. Now it denotes fake, synthetic, not really or belonging.
    I understand your view point, but must show that while not wrong, it is still not right. To keep the English the same would put artificial restrictions on the language. Besides, English is a mutt language anyhow, from Germanic, Celtic, and Romantic decent that loves integrating other languages.

    Comment by zanzopan — 27/03/2009 @ 6:45 AM


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