#TBT: the English language

Junior explains the recent change in language due to technology


Photo by Rachel Sorenson

photo illustration

Story by Alex O'Gorman, viewpoint editor

The average adult that is commonly exposed to teenage culture tends to hear a plethora of pseudo words that make absolutely no sense to them. Teenagers throw these words around as casually as if they had been speaking them their entire life.

The blame of this shift in vocabulary is typically attributed to the recent addiction that most modern teens suffer: the internet.

The most commonly used internet lingo first came into being when people who possessed multiple social media accounts that they spent all their time on decided they needed to shorten words and phrases to save time. Because that makes sense, right?

It has since been adapted into the vocabulary of every teenager with a wifi connection, leaving the adults left scratching their heads in the dust.

While this change in linguistics may appear to be a new phenomenon that can be attributed to the internet, it is actually just a simple case of history repeating itself.

If someone spoke to you in Shakespearean style English, I’m fairly certain in saying that you would have trouble understanding them. But why? It’s still the same language, so why are the two styles so different?

Ever since the first spoken word was uttered, language has transformed and morphed endless times throughout the history of the world.

Celtic became Old English, Old English became Middle English, Middle English became Modern English, and Modern English became Late Modern English. Lately, Late Modern English tends to have shorter and abbreviated vocabulary that we now associate with the internet.

Going back even 50 years ago, the culture and vocabulary of the residents of that time period is vastly different from that of the modern day.

tl;dr: The change of vocabulary is not silly, ghetto, or immature. It is simply the English language further evolving and leaving space for more development.