Among the world, there are thousands of different languages spoken. One of the most unique and complex languages is the English language. This language has been developed from centuries of mixing cultures and environments. With this, English has experienced a large change from what original English was to what it is today. The English language has changed due to a variety of new technologies, such as: foreign conquering, the printing press, and the increase of cell phone use.
The beginning of the English language can be found in the year of 400 CE. In this year, Germanic tribes sailed and captured present day England. This created a new mix of culture and language called Old English, or Anglo-Saxon. This language involved characters that are not used in the language today and was very scarcely written. Most of this evidence is found through oral stories from past generations.
Due to the technological advances, allowing the Germanic tribes to come across to England, we see the blossoming of a language that is now spoken by many. By 1066 CE, the country of Normandy invaded and conquered England. This created a new shift and mixture of Latin and French influences onto Old English. This developed a more famous and more documented version of the language, Middle English. This version can be seen through the Elizabethan era and ends with the development of the printing press.
The printing press was invented in 1500 by Johannes Gutenberg. This technological improvement revolutionized the English language. This invention created a surplus of books, secured punctuation and grammar, as well as raised the literacy rates. The printing press had flourished in England and created over 20 million books (Willis). In addition, the literacy rates skyrocketed throughout the area. This invention caused a rise in what is now called Modern English. This era is seen from the 1500s to present. However, the English language is taking a surprising informal turn back to slang.
Due to all the technological advances facing society today, we find an abundance of cellphones. These devices connect every inch of the globe together. Approximately 62.9% of the human population owns a mobile device (statisa.com). This adds enormous opportunity for cultures and languages to mix and diverge together. When there are so many people being allowed to communicate with each other, new forms and words are created to bring in an overall sense of unity.
With the emergence of cellphones, people saw an informality begin to develop in our communication system. In addition, it is expected that over 5 billion people will be using cellphones. Based on this growing technology, English is becoming americanized and is increasingly using more abbreviations and emoticons to describe what we are trying to say. With this many countries are using “American English” in their day to day communication. They use abbreviations such as “LOL” and “BRB” more often than typing out the actual words (Draxler). This creates more slang and informality surrounding the use of the English language.
Throughout the past 21 centuries, the language of English has changed from a barbaric, Germanic language, to being highly esteemed and modeled by French and Latin, to finally being used as a world-wide language for communication. As technology and its use continue to rise, the English language will evolve and change with each of the cultures it meets. English is not a concrete language and was created by an assortment of cultures and technologies. Where will English be in the next 20 years? Technology will lead the way to that answer.
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