Saturday, April 2, 2011

Ouch! I Bit My Mother Tongue!

OMG! Have you heard? FYI, the Oxford English Dictionary has a few new entries and, LOL, three of them are the previously mentioned internet acronyms!  You may want to tell your BFF, but, IMHO, it may be TMI.
What is happening to the art of communication? Formality in the English language seems to be becoming a thing of the past.
Linguistic expression, as the world, is in a constant state of transformation. Many who read Shakespeare do not understand, or appreciate, the vernacular of that day, and you will find few who take the time to embrace the fluidity of a Jane Austin novel. Two centuries ago letters home took on the importance of a memoir, as time and distance deemed it necessary to pour your whole life and sentiment into each dispatch. The flowery language penned by a loved one was inhaled as deeply as any fragrant blossom.
Even television journalism has lost some of its magic as cookie-cutter newscasters spew the same, overused catch-phrases with smiles on their beautiful faces. Where are all of the broadcasters with clever, engaging style, like that of the late Edward R. Murrow whose words flowed as beautifully and as passionately as the brush strokes of Monet?
I don't know if it's lack of time or interest, but in this brave new world of text messaging and carbon copy newscasting, to me, communication has become more graffiti than an art form. Although some might argue that graffiti is an art form, literarily speaking, I am referring to the classics as opposed to, "There once was a girl from Nantucket..."
 It is a grievous thought that the English language, as we know it, will soon pass into the afterlife and the reincarnation will bare only a slight resemblance to our mother tongue, as a series of letters and unintelligible computer symbols fill the illuminated screen. Optimistically, this will not take place until long after my demise. Realistically, the transformation has already begun, as curt, abbreviated text messages staring back from our cell phones replace the human connection of the personal call. And as the word 'you' has replaced 'thou', the inevitable next step on the linguistic evolutionary ladder will be 'yo'.
Perhaps, instead of lamenting the failing health of a beloved language, I should embrace the new 'accepted' slang of the younger generation; after all, I am nothing if not open-minded.  So, instead of bidding you a fond ado, my friend, I will simply state "TTYL...homey."

1 comment:

  1. Great post! English, like all languages, is in a constant state of evolution. Some things that evolve do not survive, others thrive. With the adding of internet chat acronyms to the OEL (haha) it is clear that we are acknowledging that form of communication as real and have validated it's existence. Until those acronyms are in the Official Scrabble Dictionary they are not 'real' words.