OP-ED: Dictionary twitter battle

Blake Vail-Rhodes

The bastardization of the English language is a hot topic among both scholars and language fanatics alike. The internet has popularized its own form of slang and writing style, which seems like a foreign language to anyone unfamiliar with the devolving grammar and poor sentence structure.

Language is not evolving, it’s devolving. Americans already speak a simplified form of english, and it is getting worse every year. The Oxford Dictionary word of the year in 2015 was the crying laughing emoji, and unless the american people are suddenly using hieroglyphics as our main form of communication, that seems absolutely ridiculous.

Changing a language to cater to those who misuse it is illogical. If Merriam Webster is now changing definitions, simply because people have been misusing the word, this is truly the end of english as we know it.

Frances McDaniel

As many linguists and anyone under the age of twenty who has tried to communicate with anyone over forty knows, language is a changing, growing organism that evolves depending on its use in day-to-day speech.

Language is made to communicate with other human beings; its sole purpose is to help someone else understand your thoughts and feelings. If language as it was written hundreds of years ago can no longer help other people understand you, what is the point of abiding by its ancient rules?

‘Mad’ has been used in day-to-day speech to mean ‘angry’ for years now. Kindergarteners who are just learning how to share their feelings are taught the word “mad” with a little red angry face even though it is technically improper english.

If we didn’t adjust the rules of language based on how it’s used, we would still be using words like “thine” and “bijoux”. Sorry traditionalists, but change is necessary for progress and the people who speak the language are the ones that choose how it’s used.

 

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Author: The Hawk Eye

Hanover High School, Mechanicsville, Virginia The Hawk Eye Student Newspaper thehawkeye@hcps.us

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