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Where is our Language Headed - Essay Example

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It is a natural phenomenon for language, just like any other facet of life, to evolve with time. However, there has been concerns over the current trends in language as a result of invention in technology. …
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Where is our Language Headed
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Download file to see previous pages The most prevalent and most influential ways of modern communication is texting. Baron has highlighted different arguments concerning effect of texting on the article “Are Digital Media Changing Language?” Crystal on the article “2B or not 2B.” has also highlighted the same issue. Whether modern texting has an effect on language remains a contentious issue. Therefore, this paper seeks to compare and contrast the ideologies of Baron and Crystal with an aim of supporting that effect of texting on language is insignificant. Whereas we have appreciated the technological evolution in enhancing communication, it is true that the same has come with an appreciable change in attitude towards language. According to Baron, internet and mobile phone communication has its own characteristics, which are likely to be mapped in official language communication. However, he quotes a study by Pew Internet and American Life Project, which claimed, “middle school and high school students understand what kind of language is appropriate in what context” (Baron, 2009). According to the findings of this study, it is evident that although texting has become the technological form of communication, it has not greatly influenced the official language of communication. Interestingly, Crystal has echoed the same sentiments. He claims “Texting has added a new dimension to language use, but its long-term impact is negligible. It is not a disaster” (Crystal, 2008). The similarities in their opinion suffices to support that indeed, the modern trend in texting has little if any significance in official language. It is worthwhile noting that texting is not an emerging trend but rather has evolved since time immemorial. Although it can be claimed that texting has gained heightened usage in recent times, historical evolution has not resulted to considerable effect on official language communication. Baron captures the way technology has caused language evolution. For instance, there is an observed change from “news paper” to “news-paper” to the presently used “newspaper.” Similarly, Crystal, on the other hand, recounts the same idea of texting language persistence. He claims, “The most noticeable feature is the use of single letters, numerals, and symbols to represent words or parts of words, as with b "be" and 2 "to.” They are called rebuses, and they go back centuries” (Crystal, 2008). It can be concluded from the two ideologies that texting has little impact on official language. This is because, texting has been present in the society for decades yet the changes have been minimal. Although Baron has highlighted some of the effects of technology language to official communication, it can be argued that such changes are minimal to warrant heightened worry on language influence. Crystal asserts that language abbreviation has been a common and natural phenomenon for ages. Interestingly, the criticism on language abbreviation dates back to 1711. He asserts, “Words such as exam, vet, fridge, cox and bus are so familiar that they have effectively become new words” (Crystal, 2008). People like Joseph Addison were some of the early critiques of language abbreviation. However, language evolution took place as a necessity rather than influence. Language is meant for communication, of course in simple means. Although such changes have been easily adopted as official communication language, Baron promotes the same idea of acceptance to abbreviation. According to him, “A wide swath of educated speakers of English (at least American English) simply don’ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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