Opinion: The English language totes changes, y’all need to chill

By Caitlin Soard

Life has changed incredibly quickly in the last 20 or so years. We carry the entire Internet around in our pocket, whereas 20 years ago we had dial-up at best.

Technology has changed so rapidly that my generation’s childhood seems like practically a different century. And with all of these advances, language changed.

The English language has never been a static, unchanging thing. New words and definitions are added into dictionaries every year. For example, the world “selfie” was added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2013.

If language didn’t change, we wouldn’t change either. Purists say words like “selfie,” “hashtag,” or slang like “totes,” “bae,” and “on fleek” are going to be the downfall of our language. But, that’s also what was said when the pencil was invented. Teachers said it would be the end of writing as we knew it—that nobody would ever be able to properly use a slate again. However, today, we couldn’t imagine a world without pencils.

Surprise, something new didn’t hurt us.

Additionally, use of slang reflects the way that we — particularly young people — speak to one another. Writing is typically supposed to convey that, unless you’re writing an academic paper. Then you might want to stay away from calling something “fire.”

Shakespeare invented hundreds of words that we now use all the time (pickle, for example). I’m sure people sneered at these new words back when they were invented, but, eventually people chilled out and started using them.

So why not just be chill now?

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About Ashley Shuler 1253 Articles

Ashley Shuler is the executive editor of The Franklin. She has held various multimedia journalism and public relations internships, including positions at Indianapolis Monthly, The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis and Dittoe Public Relations.

When she isn’t staying up late to edit stories, Ashley spends her time boutique shopping and drinking as much vanilla Coke as possible.

This is Ashley’s third year in a leadership role and her fourth year on The Franklin staff. She previously held positions as web editor and news editor.

1 Comment on Opinion: The English language totes changes, y’all need to chill

  1. One elephant-in-the-room exception: English spelling isn’t allowed to evolve. It has not been allowed to change since Webster’s generation of editors greenlit several spellings back in the day. Powers that be are loath to lower the bar for entry into land of English literacy. Even sympathizers are loath to fight the elitist aversion to shorter/simpler.

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