English Language Evolution

By
Real Estate Agent with GreatWest Realty DRE# 00827565

http://www.myrljeffcoat.com

 

For those who adhere to speaking and writing while using the Queen's English, there may be distress in knowing language endures as an evolutionary process. Here are some examples:

Past: How great thou art!
Present: You ae great! (or. . .You Rock!"


Past: Here ye, here ye!
Present: Listen up! (also…Shut up and listen!)

 

There are certainly rules of grammar and syntax that remain constant with the ages, but there are also nuances continually creeping into the vernacular.

Before a writing class a few years back, I had increasingly noted our language was experiencing the disappearance of the word, “that.”  When I studied the sentences without the traditional “that” I also noticed that to the reader, the word really could have seemed extraneous, or unneeded.   

The writing class teacher explained the “disappearing that” had become more acceptable.

 

Example using “that”:  The runner that was running in 4th place sprinted at the end of the race, thus winning it.

Example without “that”:  The runner running in 4th place sprinted at the end of the race, thus winning it. 

Some English fanatics believe if you begin a sentence with the word, “And,” you should always put a comma after it, and you should end the sentence with an exclamation point.  Not all additions to a previous sentence carry home an important point to warrant an ending exclamation.  And, still others believe the exclamation point is like shouting at the end of a sentence, and is often overused.  But if humor is intended in a sentence, it can be funnier that way!

Although it is not often found in written communication, there is an annoying habit exhibited by kids and teenagers.  It is the overuse of the word, “like” while speaking.  The younger set, especially girls, seem addicted to the word.

Example of “like” communication: Margo like went with Steven, to like the movies, to see like “The Hunger Games.”  She like told me, that Sheldon was like there.


I have read pieces written by excellent writers, who keep readers thoroughly entertained by using tightly written sentences, strictly adhering to strong traditional English language rules.  However, I must admit I usually enjoy the writings of those, who have a certain expressive style, and buck up against tradition, to provide artistry and flare! 

And, for the staunch user of the English language existing in today’s world of shorthand staccato texts, I can imagine apoplexy is a frequent visitor.  Text messaging certainly wasn’t the proper English taught in classrooms, even a decade ago.

Example of original sentence: Hi There, Because Starbucks is next to the Indian place, I will see you there.  I hope this helps!

Example of today’s text: HT bc *$ is nx 2 NDN plc c u @ *$ HTH

In conclusion, we have come a very long way from thee and thou.  And, that is all right!  The importance of good communication is to share thoughts and feelings.  All great writers infuse their writings with a special artistic style, which touches the spirit igniting a new way of looking at others and the world.  Evolution is meant to be a progressive thing.  So, let’s embrace it!

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Rainmaker
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Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Perry Wellington Realty, Adam Conrad, Broker - Lewisburg, WV
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Texting seems like another language.  Glad you explained that sentence  in English before using it in today's texting language.  

Jan 18, 2018 09:22 PM #1
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Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®,CRS,
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I can never figure out today if our language is evolution or revolution Myrl Jeffcoat 

Jan 19, 2018 12:34 AM #2
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Dorie Dillard
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.346.1799 - Austin, TX
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Good morning Myrl Jeffcoat,

You are right evolution is meant to be a progressive thing. We should embrace it after all communication is to share thoughts and feelings!

Jan 19, 2018 05:06 AM #4
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Yolanda Cordova-Gilbert
Sitterle Homes - Richmond, TX
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Myrl,

 I love LOL though now haha is replacing in it...though for me haha means you are making fun of someone or at least that it what it meant back in the day!

Jan 19, 2018 01:24 PM #5
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Debbie Reynolds
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At first, Lol bothered me but over time I have accepted it but rarely use it.

Jan 19, 2018 06:11 PM #6
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Joe Pryor
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Cultures also affect this. When Israelis want to emphasize a point to me I know how important it is by the number of exclamation points. They aren't mad, it is just the way to express themselves.

Jan 20, 2018 07:09 AM #7
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Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents
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Hi Myrl: Well, the use of that is probably not the best way to illustrate the word that because in the sentence about the runner, the word would be WHO and not THAT. That is an object. Who is a person. Although the way you reconstructed the sentence did eliminate the passive voice. ;)

Jan 20, 2018 10:18 AM #8
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Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
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I love this Myrl. Wish it would have been featured. I really appreciate your exploration of the English language. Extremely clever. I'm used to the texting shortcuts because of my kids. Ha. 

Jan 20, 2018 12:36 PM #9
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Julie A. Black
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You Rock! I only hear "How great thou art" in church.

Jan 20, 2018 04:21 PM #10
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Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate
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Oh, Myrl....such a fascinating "bit" on the vernacular of our times! 

I have become morbidly fascinated with how many highly intellectual individuals (NOT just the young uns) who are interviewed on NPR, for example are using the word "like". I am sadly obsessed and lose a bit of respect for those people when I hear it. My husband does it, too, and he's the smartest person in the room! (I can't say anything, though...ya gotta pick your battles).

Jan 20, 2018 04:39 PM #11
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Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
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That was fun.  The "like" term really bugs me, along with "you know".  I try to avoid them at all times.

Jan 20, 2018 08:29 PM #12
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Yolanda Cordova-Gilbert
Sitterle Homes - Richmond, TX
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I just stopped by to see if you had posted anything new I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Jan 21, 2018 03:35 PM #13
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Patricia Feager
DFW FINE PROPERTIES - Southlake, TX
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Myrl Jeffcoat - Although George Orwell is probably rolling in his grave, I do believe we are steadily becoming more global every single day. I can't remember how old I was but it was long, long time ago when someone said, someday there won't be signs with words, just pictures. 

I also remember a class project at the University of Dallas in 1998 or 1999. I was part of a team and every member was going to get the same grade for our team project. I wasn't the oldest one in the group but I wasn't anywhere near the age of the youngest member from Asia. That young pup was designated the leader and we had to work with her to achieve an innovative way to communicate. She came up with a very similar text messaging system and it had sounds and colors. I remember thinking to myself, this could be my first "F."  As it turned out, we all got an "A." Now you got me wondering, what became of her and how much further advanced is she today than back then?

Jan 22, 2018 02:13 AM #14
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Roy Kelley
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Thanks for sharing some of your thoughts.

I have always said he graduated from college.

Now I read he graduated college.

Jan 22, 2018 12:31 PM #15
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Silvia Dukes PA, Broker Associate, CRS, CIPS, SRES
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Myrl, I just read something regarding living languages. They change because people speak them and thus they are living. If no one would speak them (i.e. Latin), they wouldn't change and they would be dead.  

Jan 23, 2018 05:29 PM #16
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Myrl Jeffcoat

Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent
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