The Ever Changing Face of Language

Let me set the scene for you:

Some people are going out on the town for a night and they are all ready to head out when one person says, “Hold on, let me take a selfie for Facebook real quick.” Now in today’s world that statement would not be viewed as odd or out of place at all. But, if we reverse the clock 14 years ago the same friends would respond not with words but a look that expresses utter confusion. This is because 14 years ago neither the word selfie nor Facebook existed.
If we take a quick look at the language we speak today we would quickly realize that the language that we speak has evolved to become something different then its former self. In a way it has become a new language within itself. The question is why?

The first and most obvious answer would be technology. As we have developed new technologies to meet the demands of the ever growing world population we have had to develop new words to express what the technology is. In some situations like the internet a snowball effect exists where one invention creates a landslide of new words that people have to incorporate into their word database which in turn creates other words.

Not only has technology added new words to our language but it has also changed what some words mean as discussed in a short article called, Has technology evolved our language beyond recognition?

Now what else affects our language? If we take a look at some new words that have been added to the dictionary you will see a lot of new words from a couple of distinct areas, technology (Which we have already discussed), modern culture, and social media

Although there are three supposed areas that represent the roots of the change in language they all fit together. Social media is the tie that brings both sides together. While there are names for technology and names for new cultural developments or shifts in colloquialisms, social media is a combination of the two and is the cause of such words as selfie and tweet. Words from social media come from the cultural application of new technologies.

So keep taking your selfies with your Galaxy or iPhone because the languages that we speak will continue to evolve as long as we keep developing new technologies and have cultures which change and adapt to the technologies.

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