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The English Language Is Evolving

“If the English language made any sense, lackadaisical would have something to do with a shortage of flowers.” – Doug Larson

Those of us whose first language is English are fortunate. Wherever we travel, inevitably there are other English speakers who can help us decipher what’s being said or written in the local language.

The English Language Is Evolving

It’s interesting to watch English’s evolution in this social media era, not always in a good way. Recently reading one of those magazines produced by a local supermarket, it was annoying to find that Americanisms are creeping in. “Cookies”! What’s that about? Soon they’ll be “Anzac cookies”, rather than “biscuits”! Already, “gotten” is rife. In Australia until a few years ago, “got” was perfectly fine.

The fashion industry has given us “pant”, “jean”, and “jodhpur”. Yes, I know the latter garment was named after an Indian town, but back in the day, like the other two garments, it wore an “s” on its rear end. Where this new practice has come from is anybody’s business! And “practice/ise”, “defence/se” American spelling instead of Australian, is becoming way too prevalent.

The English Language Is Evolving

Watching journalists and other media personalities adopt “new” words is fascinating. For example, a couple of decades ago, there were stories about the Irish diaspora. Suddenly “diaspora” was word of the year, describing Chinese, Indians, etc who’d settled around the world. I’m tipping another word emerging: “behemoth”. A horse of that name raced the other day. Already I’ve seen a headline using this Old Testament word. Expect to see more soon. Trying to pronounce it is something else!

It’s fun observing tv journalists with their overuse of certain words. We’ve all heard “you know” repeated (and repeated!). There’s a certain young ABC journo who loves to start each statement with “so”. Another does the same with “now”. Actually (yes, “actually” is another often repeated word), there are many reporters who start: “So…” and “Now…”

The English language, and its evolution, is fascinating. And amusing!

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