Please try to use our language properly
January 20, 2012 § Leave a comment
Another legacy piece, because I’m lazy, this one was written in July of 2010, because I’m sick of people who just don’t care.
On rare occasions it has been known for the gears in my head to start turning, creaking along, and pushing against the rust and decay that builds up over months of disuse (A guy using the brain in his head? Yeah, right). When this happens, I feel that I have no choice but to write my feelings, get something out into the open and let it be absorbed into the apathy of the internet. But I got to thinking, and began to wonder about the language we use, and the abuse that if faces now that the masses have the ability to instantaneously comment on the mundane parts of everyday life.
“Sean Richardson is making a sandwich
Ferd Franzinand Oh, I hope it has lots of bacon
T. Hat Guy Gawd Seean, that is the womens job to make a sandwich, get ot of the ktichen”
Or something along those lines.
When it comes to languages, there are few that are as poorly designed as this English one. As a basic example, we can look at
“i before e, except after c”
Which only holds true in some cases, which leads to additions such as
“or when sounded like a
as in neighbor and weigh”
Which itself is only true to some extent, and doesn’t cover nearly enough. I recommend going here as it has a brilliant video discussing this.
I understand that the English language is bad, and that not everyone wants to go through the effort of typing something correctly. I myself am unable to string two sentences together in a logical fashion, but at least the content is usually grammatically correct (although often poor) and correctly spelled. I can understand why people get annoyed at me for correcting their poor English, however I feel the same frustration every time someone squeezes a q into disadvantage.
I understand that our language can change, new words are constantly being added to dictionaries. Should we add definately to the Macquarie just because spelling it properly is annoying? Should it become reasonable to have twelve commas and four ellipses in a single sentence simply because that’s how I talk (that is how I talk, and I know that I overuse these horribly)? In short, no.
But why? I hear you ask. The reason is simple, but first, let me give you a tangent (that sentence is terrible, I’m sorry, I’m tired).
I like to think of myself as an intellectual. That isn’t to say that I think that I’m smart -I’m not- but simply that I believe myself to be a more learned (pronounced learn-ed) individual than some. I also imagine that anyone who has bothered to read thus far is also of a similar nature. As part of my education, I undertook the task of reading Nineteen Eighty-Four. I did this so that I could appear smart while we studied Animal Farm by making comparisons between the two. You are probably aware of the nature of the novel, and how it deals with a totalitarian government. However the idea of a totalitarian government was nothing new, what made this novel special was what they were doing with language. The government “creates” the language of newspeak. Newspeak is a simplified form of English, designed around the idea that by removing a concept from the language, you can remove it from people’s minds.
Now I return to the point at hand. I fear that our language will be simplified, reduced in both depth and breadth. People will only use a select few words, simplified down so that they can be easily typed. You will walk up to a girl, and say “illey”(because there is no real way of pronouncing ily), and she’ll respond with “your cute, lets do somthing”. The nuances and expression will be gone, our language will be a soulless beast. Our thoughts restricted and confined, with only the artistic among us truly able to express themselves.
I worry not for ourselves, but for the children of our generation (I’m not going to say “my children” because that is a terrifying thought). Forced to write an essay in 140 characters so that they can upload it to their mandatory school-based twitter accounts (I know, twitter will have died out soon enough, but you get my point). I worry because I know that there is nothing I can do, until I invent a way to slap people across the internet. I worry the most though, over the fact that I make these errors, and that this article is probably filled with them.