Each new edition of Webster’s dictionary, and there have been 11 revisions, reflects just how much our language changes over time. But linguists are now tracking the effect the Internet on our mother tongue.
Did you know, people who speak English as a second language now outnumber native speakers?
And they are directly impacting its evolution, thanks to the Internet and global forms of communication, like texting. Because of that, according to an article in BBC News Magazine, there are variations of English being not only spoken but chronicled as different “Englishes,” such as Hinglish for Indian English, Konglish for Korean English and Spanglish for Spanish English.
The article goes on to say that some of the words are mere adaptations of common English ones but used in a strange, non-grammatically correct manner, such as “blur.” Used in Singlish (Singapore English) as an adjective to mean “confused or slow,” you might hear something like, “You were blur to discussion because you came in late.”
Then there are slew of new words being constructed, such as in Hinglish, which is actually now being taught to British diplomats. Examples, according to the article, include “co-brother for brother-in-law; eve-teasing for sexual harassment. “There’s even a new concept of time – “pre-pone,” the opposite of postpone, meaning “to bring something forward.”
It’s one of the ripple effects of creating true, global communication.
I can hear English teachers screaming right now.