“2 b or nt 2 b” This was how a student pulverized Shakespeare in an examination answer sheet.
SMS lingo has now begun creeping into the answer sheets, assignments and even record books! So much so that school teachers are compelled to tell kids that the usage of such language in their exams means lower marks and could even result in flunking
When young we learnt to appreciate poetry and literature in school. It was a delight to read poems by Wordsworth, Shelley and Keats. There have been huge strides in technology ,because of which our children are today exposed to the latest gadgets. They have the virtual world at their fingertips. They are adept at searching for information, messaging, video chats and social media. Inspite of all this , I think that the modern day child is more at a disadvantage than an advantage.
The biggest disadvantage is the use of new age lingo or sms texting. This became a fashion because of the ability to be connected with your network on the go. Children today use language like: Yolo, lol, rofl, brb, wtf, wanna, lv, ppl, btw to convey their message and if you are not familiar with these words you are not cool.
In my opinion, this is murder/butchering of the English language. How can you stand ‘thought’ being spelt as ‘thot’ or ‘between’ being spelt as ‘btwn’.
With the advent of twitter and facebook, this lingo is finding extensive use and slowly it has begun to find its place in school examination papers.
Children today are so distracted with the numerous gadgetry around them that they have no time.. no patience to appreciate the beauty of the language, diction, articulation and phonetics. They just want to use brief sms lingo. Very soon this will turn into a whole new language and our Oxford dictionaries have to keep pace or come up with an SMS dictionary.
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English has undergone a great transformation by borrowing words from different languages. This has been brought about by conquests, immigration and by increased globalisation.
Today, English has words from all over the world. Due to increasing usage as an official language in many parts of the world, the local people have introduced their own colloquial terms and these have now found their way into English.
English words borrowed from other languages :
The Vikings who came to settle in England brought in many words with them:
anger, bleak, fellow, kindle, meek, oaf, reindeer, skirt, troll, wise
The Norman conquest in 1066 brought in many words like:
arher, bacon, chivalry, defeat, elope, embezzle, felony, injury, salmon, venison
The arrival of Christian monks and scientists brought in many Latin words to England:
abdomen, creditor, dictator, dilemma, elevator, fetus, genius, insomnia, nausea, virus
The Greek language provided lot of English words too:
atlas, barbaric, catalyst, charisma, epitaph, dynamic, government, horizon, nostalgia, tyranny
The Spanish contributed with words like:
adios, avocado, barracuda, cannibal, chihuahua, embargo, fillibuster, pimento, salsa, tortilla
French words that are commonly used in English are:
a la carte, avant-garde, bon appetit, bon voyage, bourgeois, bureau, carte blanche, chauffeur, croissant, deja vu, espirit de corps, faux pas, cul-de-sac, laissez faire
Some words from Arabic are:
Admiral, albatross, alfalfa, azure, cipher, divan, gazelle, harem, henna, lilac
Words from Russian in English are:
Cosmonaut, babushka, mammoth, ruble, kalishnikov, borsch, glasnost, perestroika, kefir, tzar
German words which are found in English are:
alzheimer, blitz, dachsund, gesundheit, hamburger, poltergeist, doppelganger, schadenfreude, strudel, rottweiler
Indian words that were adopted in English are:
avatar, bangle, brahmin, bungalow, cheetah, chutney, guru, jungle, pundit, pyjamas
Japanese words that are used in English are:
bonsai, haiku, ikebana, karaoke, manga, origami, kimono, bento, shensei, teriyaki
Some Chinese words that are used in English are:
chopsuey, fengshui, ginseng, gung ho, ketchup, kow tow, kungfu, mahjong, shanghai, tai chi
Italian words that found their way into English are:
artisan, balcony, caricature, dilettante, facade, fresco, grotesque, masquerade, mezzanine, villa
Some English words derived from Dutch words are:
aardvark, bazooka, coleslaw, howitzer, gherkin, poppycock, schooner, filibuster, tulip, knapsack
The English language has many homophones (similar sounding words) that have different meaning altogether. It is easy to be confused with such words and one has to be careful to understand their right usage. Here are some examples:
Accept & Except:
Accept: to agree to receive or do
Except: not including
Advice & Advise:
Advice: recommendations about what to do
Advise: to recommend something
Assent & Ascent:
Assent: agreement, approval
Ascent: the action of rising or climbing up
Bare & Bear:
Bare: naked; to uncover
Bear: to carry; to put up with
Complement & Compliment:
Complement: to add to so as to improve; an addition that improves something
Compliment: to praise or express approval; an admiring remark
Council & Counsel:
Council: a group of people who manage or advise
Counsel: advice; to advise
Principal & Principle:
Principal: most important; the head of a school
Principle: a fundamental rule or belief
Cereal & Serial:
Cereal: a grass producing an edible grain; a breakfast food made from grains
Serial: happening in a series
Practice & Practise:
Practice: the use of an idea or method; the work or business of a doctor, dentist, etc.
Practise: to do something repeatedly to gain skill; to do something regularly
Storey & Story:
Storey: a level of a building
Story: a tale or account
Here is a link to other examples of commonly confused words from Oxford dictionary:http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/page/easilyconfused
And here is another great website by Jim Wegryn with a collection of over 2500 english words and phrases in humorous context: http://www.jimwegryn.com/Words/Words.php
And finally here is another video of funny English jokes and commercials: