Wednesday, July 17, 2024

How technology has evolved the English language – The Financial Express


The Financial Express
By Atul Mohan
The lingua franca, or in other terms the language for communication that is used by speakers of other languages, owes its popularity to the colonial influence of the English Empire and later on was pushed by the rise of American culture. The expansion of the empire led to the inclusion of a lot of vernacular languages into the mainstream language which created an extensive dictionary and grammatical tweaks. Due to this, ranging from vocabulary to grammatical rules, we have been witnesses to the changes brought in the English Language.
With the rise of technology and the internet, English as a language has evolved multifold at a faster pace. With more people being introduced to the language and bringing in their cultural touch to it, English is not what it used to be a decade ago. Let’s understand a bit more deeply how technology has had its impact on the English language.
Technology and English
Just like any other language has a variety of dialects, English due to the influence of so many cultures has a variety of pronunciation. Technology has played a crucial role in creating a uniformity in the pronunciation. With this, the pronunciations, all around the globe, have been the same, more or less.
The role of artificial intelligence, in recognising speech and making the correct corrections to it, has made English a much easier language to speak and has led to more fluency.
Archaic English, as recorded during the times of Chaucer, and later on during the time of Shakespeare included a set of words that, if used today, may sound absurd to many. With technology coming into play we have also seen a rise in globalisation, which has helped us incorporate a lot of new cultural terms. These terms vary according to the age group, area they belong to, among others.
With an increase in technological innovations, the process of this constantly evolving language fastened and we saw the incorporation of a lot of slangs, which seem very normal when first noticed but include a lot of cultural backstory to it. The idea of bringing in abbreviations as part of note making in the English Syllabus itself shows the change that has been brought about by the usage of social media. We have seen technology seep into our language in India in such a manner that today, telephonic conversation, email writing, text messages, among others. have all become part of our syllabus.
The ease of carrying a device in our pocket has made communication easier and makes every tiny thing that peaks someone’s interest “trending.” This has led to abbreviations and new words becoming more common. English, as a language is seen as a great stepping stone towards success, however with technology playing a role in it’s advancement, the language has become more informal and accommodating. It has not killed the previous words or grammatical rules, but it most definitely has made expressing ideas more easy and presented us with an extensive range of words to choose from. If we don’t seem to find the right word, technology has also given us the opportunity to coin our own term and add it to the English dictionary.
Widely spoken languages like English are expected to expand and subsume dialects into it to maintain its popularity and relatability. It’s no surprise that English has changed so much from its archaic form, so much so that it takes hours for an individual to understand what is written without outside help. However, with technology being used by the masses, the language has been seen to change its form at a much faster pace. Today words like slay, binge, vacay, among others. have become common in our daily usage just how beautiful, session and vacation or holiday have been.
The author of this article is Head, Growth, ELSA India. Views expressed are personal.
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