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The devolution of language

Discussion in 'Alley of Dangerous Angles' started by Shoshino, Mar 23, 2013.

  1. Shoshino

    Shoshino Irritant Veteran

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    Or some may say that it is an evolution. I'm sure most of us have noticed the alteration to the way we communicate these days, the mass introduction of electronic mediums most likely being the cause this change where many are moving away from using actual language and instead using evoking images and acronyms on much of what they say, for example: WYOO - "whats your opinion on" I don't think I need to put more examples of common acronyms, though many are starting to use more, INAFF - "I am not a firefighter" is one I have seen just recently.
    This made me think of a startrek the Next Generation episode 'Darmok' which sees the crew encounter a species who communicate solely with emotive imagery "Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra!", refering to 2 people and a specific event. A refernce is made to how humans would recognise "Juliette on her balcony" and how you could understand the emotive language used with this image.
    Many people would recognise this image: http://www.reactionface.info/sites/default/files/images/1287666826226.png and immediately understand what this image stands for in any conversation.

    Is language as we know it changing into rabble of images and acronyms and other abbreviations?
    I Invite others to post images and acronyms here to see if we can identify the phrase or meaning related to them.
     
    Vorona likes this.
  2. Barmy Army

    Barmy Army Simple mind, simple pleasures... Adored Veteran

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    sry m8 i dnt no wt u men? lng as u cn rd it wts da prob?

    just imo ofc. iirc peeps av always shawtened wrds if dey cn?
     
  3. Shoshino

    Shoshino Irritant Veteran

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    Because it just took me longer to read and understand what you just typed than if you had just used english.

    I agree that sometimes abbreviations are necessary, shorthand for example or space limitation, but lets just point out that the department for education has debated allowing internet short hand in english exams. Is this really what we want?
     
  4. Barmy Army

    Barmy Army Simple mind, simple pleasures... Adored Veteran

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    Haha no I totally agree mate. It does become tiresome and hard work after a bit.
     
  5. dogsoldier Gems: 7/31
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    Is this devolution of language or simply a natural evolution?

    I personally find communication via "Twitter feed" annoying as sh*t, to be brutally honest. But isn't communication about effective conveyance of ideas, images, theories, and desires? In the end, maybe my desire for conventional usage of English is similar to some monk's desire for Latin to become the lingua franca across Europe circa 1200.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2013
  6. Vorona

    Vorona Shadow-Whisperer

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    I'm of two minds on this.

    I was raised to write and speak "correctly," and I happen to be very good at grammar. I also tend to dislike abbreviations. So, my personal preference as a reader/writer is to avoid Netspeak and other shortcuts (though I was easily able to understand Barmy's post, as if it really was English -- strange).

    On the other hand, in my studies on language, I veer much more towards Sociolinguistics and Descriptive Grammar than any type of Prescriptivism. That means that I tend to see all language change as evolution and not devolution.

    Finally, one use of language that we often don't pay attention to is how it alerts us to an individual's culture. Netspeak and the like aren't just chosen because they are faster or easier; they're also chosen to show that the speaker/writer is a certain type of person and belongs to a particular social group (usually a group that texts a lot, which might also indicate a certain level of wealth, especially if we're considering smart phones and the like). It generally also indicates either youth or a desire to regain youth. Perhaps more importantly, despite the thought that it might be used on English exams (?!), overall, it tends to display frivolity and a lack of intelligence -- people who use it tend not to be taken seriously.

    Because of that, I think it will probably remain a niche and not take over the whole language; too many people are opposed to it in serious settings.
     
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  7. Sir Rechet

    Sir Rechet I speak maths and logic, not stupid Veteran

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    I agree with Vorona here. One of the easiest ways to lose big in credibility is by neglecting the use of proper language.

    However, there are quite a few areas of language use where issues like the comedy effect, showcasing group attributes and/or just being obfuscated on purpose (read: most PR in politics) are arguably more important. So no, I don't see this devolution stopping anytime soon, quite the opposite in fact.
     
  8. chevalier

    chevalier Knight of Everfull Chalice ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    Lately, I've been working as a translator (since early 2009) and the quality of source texts worries me. I'm not really an accomplished purist but I believe the poor grammar, syntax and punctuation are harming communication. It's a mistake to teach language without regard to the rules as you can't really build things within a system reliably without following the rules of that system, as any computer programmer will tell you. Sometimes people don't even seem to feel the need to build actual sentences, they just lump a couple of nomatives or infinitives together and they think that's okay. It's not.
     
  9. coineineagh

    coineineagh I wish for a horde to overrun my enemies Resourceful Adored Veteran

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    I loved the Star Trek reference!

    It's like ingroup slang. You want to be part of the discussion, and show respect for your peers' speaking/writing habits, then you copy it. Resistance is futile.

    Using it too heavily just comes across as being a wannabe who's trying too hard to suck up, though.
     
  10. The Great Snook Gems: 31/31
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    lol
     
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