Another Language Change

“Gentle Knight was pricking on the plaine,

Y cladd in mightie armes and siluer shielde,

Wherein old dints of deepe wounds did remaine,

The cruell markes of many’ a bloudy fielde;…”

That, my beloved ones, was from Spenser’s FAERIE QVEEN, Canto I.  And that was how people spoke in Queen Elizabeth I’s England.  Quite a difference to today, isn’t it?  Now how about the following?

AFAIK  ur BFF is SOL so DEGT

That is computer slang.  I downloaded 7 pages of these short speaks plus a page of emoticons.  Makes you wonder, in 100 years, will the books we write today read as strange to future folk as the Faerie Queen sounds to us today? Will college students studying literature giggle when our books are read out loud in class?  Will they groan about how long the book is when they’re used to shorter books?

In one of the Star Trek movies, Spock asks Kirk why he is using so much profanity when they’re back in time on 20th century Earth. Jim explains that is normal for the period; it said so in all the literature of the era.  Like Harold Robbins and Jackie Collins.  “Ah,” says Spock.  “The greats.”  Every time I see that scene, I crack up. 

But one thing is for certain.  No matter how the language reads, the stories that DO become the classics have the same basic appeal to readers.  And, that Bainbridge Scholars, is what writing is all about.  Not to just make a living, but to create a book that will last the ages.

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3 thoughts on “Another Language Change

  1. Ooh, I find the idea of what writing/language will be like in a hundred years kind of scary. I hope there’s always a strong core of the population who appreciates language enough to keep it alive in a form at least similar to what we know today.

  2. That can’t happen, Marilyn. Language is a living thing. Like humans, it must evolve to keep living. Think of all the languages that are no longer spoken or written in.

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