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Linguistics
is a science of language. There are more than six thousand languages in the
world, both still in existence and endangered. It can be said that as time passes,
languages evolve. Many researchers are interested in this field and they want
to know why linguistics is transforming with time. In my point of view, I have
come to understand that there are many reasons and factors for the evolution of
languages, however, I would like to focus on two main influential factors that
have accelerated the process of transformation.

First of all, in the
present day, English has become a lingua franca after the colonial era; a
commonly accepted language on a global scale. Before becoming the English
language that we know of today, this language came about from the combination
of many languages. Let us first move to the past. The origin of England came
about after the settlement of the Anglo Saxons in Britain. The term ‘Anglo
Saxon’ comes from Latin, where ‘England’ is a consolidation of ‘Engla Land’,
meaning ‘Angles Land’. In the beginning, the English language comprised of
words from several dialects within the Kingdom of the Anglo Saxons, but the
most influence was vested from two groups. The first one was the language of
the North Germanic people and the second was the Old Norman also called as the
Gallo-Romance,  which later gave rise to Anglo-Norman
and Anglo-French, in order. Those groups of languages are the present German
and French languages, which has impacted the English language of the present.
For a better comprehension, we can look at the loaned or borrowed words from
both countries such as ‘Café’ ‘Bullet’, ‘Buffet’, ‘Faux pas’, ‘Genre’ and
‘Rendezvous’ etc. Examples of borrowed words from the German language are
‘Delicatessen’, ‘Fest’, ‘Kindergarten’ and ‘Waltz’ etc. Many of the borrowed
words began their use in the past and have been carried on to the present
conversations as well. It can be said that the colonial era have had an impact,
not only on the English language, but on all languages around the world. Many
countries have overtime experienced a change in language and culture due to
this reason.

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Moving on to the second
factor. Today, technology effects our daily lives more and more. Recently,
communication has become vastly easier than in the past. Primitive humans used
smoke signals to communicate, then came the era of homing pigeons to deliver
messages, then hand-written letters, or what we now call as snail mail. But now,
we simply press a button on our electronic devices such as smart phones,
laptop, tablets etc. and our messages are delivered to the recipients at the
speed of light. The modern key factor to the rapid evolution of languages is
the Internet. People use the Internet in varying ways, but in this essay, I will
focus on the use of the ‘Internet words’, which has had a great impact on the linguistics
of the modern English. Social media forums such as Facebook, Youtube, Twitter,
and Instragram etc. have led to a rapid burst of informal language usage, which
has spilled over into the regular lives outside of social media. New words and
slangs are being created every single year, and are picked up and circulated very
quickly by users of the social media. A good example to explain this phenomenon
is the use of the words ‘to google’; many people use these words as a verb as a
representation of searching for information on the Internet. Another example
would be the use of the word ‘Bro’ –meaning ‘a male friend’ etc., which also
started on social media and is now widely used outside of the social media. And
last but not least, to illustrate how the Internet has changed language, we
only have to look at the numerous acronyms out there. Examples of popular
acronyms include ‘FR’ – –acronym of ‘For Real’, used to represent an unbelievable
situation or an event, ‘GOAT’ – acronym of ‘Greatest Of All Time’, ‘LOL’, which
is one of the most popular acronyms on the online chatting forums, stands for ‘Laughing
Out Loud’- etc. The Internet has undoubtedly been the most impactful force on
our everyday language in recent years.

To sum up, as I mentioned,
there are many factors that have led to the evolution of linguistics over the
history of mankind; however, in my opinion there are two major factors that
have accelerated the rate of change – colonialism and the Internet.

 

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