Has the Internet Permanently Changed How We Speak?

Wild Wild Tech


We'll come back to wild wild tech a show about the strange frankenstein's monster of technology and culture shambling through our lives. I'm josh rivera. And i'm doing erika weber. I am the frankenstein and joshua is the monster. Let me paint you a picture jordan. It's the early nineteen eighty s. we're in calgary alberta. It's cold because this is calgary and a man named wayne pearson. Is typing three letters online for the first time l. I think you're familiar with this. Wouldn't rate yes. It clearly means lots of love joshua. It's like it's laugh out loud right. Yeah i mean this one's everywhere right with a few exceptions like you just said like everyone gets it. It's an example of what we might call like. Internet speak which can be a phrase acronym or a word that was either born or popularized on the internet. Do you have any favorites. A oh laughing my ass off or ass for you over there what else. I never really liked raffle because it sounded too fluffy. Yeah funny funny thing about raffle ruffles. Actually fallen out of popularity. No one really use it anymore. Probably because they feel the same way you do so your your taste maker good. Everyone should listen to me more. I have a friend who just types wrecked r. e. t. all caps when someone gets there s handed to them but like only in a very minor inconsequential way. It feels a little stupid talking about this stuff right. But i also think it's fun i mean we're both riders and language is kind of easy to take for granted. It just sort of like works and you don't really appreciate for the thousands of miracles that it takes to make it work so talking to a link and we've got to here today just reminds you of how much magic there is and how we speak to one another. There are very obvious differences in the way we speak and like sometimes it's fun. Pack that but before we go any further we should because this is an english language podcast or naturally going to discuss english and because language is also culture. It's worth noting. A big part of how. The internet influence language comes from cultures borrowing from one another sometimes in ways that are not particularly great or well-considered. We're mostly focusing on the tech angle. Here as the cultural one is enough to fuel an entire podcast. Yeah much as. I would like to pitch that podcast. Personally you'd be better off going to listen to the allusion est within a by helen saltzman. She talks about this kind of thing. All the time and you know talks about the conflict between loving the english language and also knowing that it has committed atrocities so today. I'm going to introduce you to two of my favorite interviews so far. The first is someone who has around fifty years of experience in linguistics and comes from your side of the jordan. Well i'm david crystal academically. I'm honorary professor of linguistics at the university of banja. Here in north wales. Also really. I spend most of my time at home especially lockdown writing books about language in linguistics and the english language gender close aspects of the internet to. He's here to give us an understanding of how the internet has impacted our language and the ways. It has actually happened before but first he starts with something. That's a little bit surprising. For all the words we don't know and rapidly growing lexicon. The internet's impact on the english. Language is actually quite small. Not because there isn't a lot of change but because the english language is so vast. Let's just stay with english for the moment over the past twenty years. I'm sure the internet has added several thousand new words and phrases to the english language. But heck the english language has over a million words each many more than that nobody knows. How many so an extra few thousand isn't a big deal. As far as vocabulary is concerned and then grandma. Oh well as far as i can tell the grammatical constructions. We will using back in one thousand nine hundred ninety just before the win. Came in exactly the same as the grammatical constructions. You and i are using right now. According to professor crystal this has had a side effect. I'm sure you've seen before. Those who treat changes in the language as a sign of cultural decay. So i went to see a show by susie. Dent she does dictionary kona on a countdown. I don't know if any of this is meaningful to you countdown. british television program with word challenges and number challenges and she does the dictionary corner anyway. She did this show about language and she talked about how people are often very concerned about it. Changing her thing was the word. Mischievous people often pronounces mischievous because they think it rhymes with devious. But it's actually mischievous more people probably say mischievous that. It will probably just change the word that kind of thing. Yeah and this is one of the things that professor crystal talked about length. The languages nature change. It's not inherently good or bad. it's just change.

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