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Cyclic Nature Of Language English Language Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Language
Wordcount: 1150 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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This task comes under the prescribed Part 1 – Language and Cultural context. The topic I have chosen is – Cyclic nature of language. This topic is related to the Part 1 of English as it deals with change of the English Language which influences all the cultures throughout the world since the beginning of time. Language in itself has been evolving over the centuries. I have gone about this task in such a way that it shows the difference in the way of communication (through language) since the beginning of time to the language that has come to be in the present day. It shows the evolution of communication from gestures to emergence of language to change in language itself and then back to gestures and visual representations. This change is shown through examples like – (change in form of asking someone to keep quiet) – shhh → hist →could you please remain silent? → Keep quiet → shut up →shhh → :-X.

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The aim of this task is to bring out the possibility of the claim that language is cyclic in nature. This is also a personal opinion hence I have chosen a blog form to express myself freely while using an informal approach. Also this enables me to put across my opinion among a varied range of audience who might be able to access this when in the form of blog. The blog helps my text to be conveyed in a generic form and audience as intended.

Language came into existence in order for humans to communicate. This can be said for any form of language. It began from grunts, sign language and gestures in the 6000BC and evolved into the defined universal form of language which we speak in the present day. We still speak in gestures, only along with language too. After all “actions speak louder than words.” When angry we still wave our hands about or make offensive gestures, when happy a smile is intact on our face, when we feel compassionate we hug, kiss or embrace, when despising someone we either glare or make a face. [1] To communicate or send a message across we usually end up gesturing rather than only use words. According to me gestures are a way better means of expression or communication than words of a language as it is more universal, innate and natural. Not all gestures have evolved over the years like language has. Some gestures come naturally to everyone. If worried or deep in thought one involuntarily frowns.

However lately it is seen language is deteriorating quite in the literal sense. Here is an example to show the deterioration of language over the past few centuries-

Dost thou feel melancholic? (18th century)

Is it sad that you feel? (19th century)

Are you unhappy? (20th century)

R uŒ? (21st century)

Above is a simple example of how the language has evolved over the past centuries with the meaning still intact. Yes, a chap from the 19th century will only be able to guess at the most, what the emoticon Œ conveys. If anything, he will be surprised at the lack of words used when enquiring after someone’s well being. Whereas, a 21st century dude will only ever use words like “thou” and “melancholic” as a joke. It is quite evident how inappropriate using either kind of language in either century would be. Linguists and literature lovers cringe over the language used today. Authors from the earlier centuries might roll in their graves at the new meanings of same words used earlier. However evolution of language is inevitable and necessary too. Whether for the good or the bad, it differs from person to person depending on their perception. On one hand a literature lover might revel in the fancy and articulate language used earlier and despise the brief and hasty way the language has turned into in the present day. On the other hand, a 21st century, text savvy teenager might appreciate the usage of language in the earlier centuries and consider it a part of the lush history of literature but will be more comfortable using the abbreviated form of language these days.

Also it is very important to note that the changes noted in the form of communication are in the form of letters in the olden days and texts now a days. Earlier, communication was slow and less frequent. Yet it was important and more efficient for the letters to be long and expressive. Whereas in the present day not only communication is extremely quick and efficient, meeting someone is also very easy. Hence in the era where texting and video calling is possible and it is almost like communicating with the person face to face, one doesn’t feel the need to be overly expressive and long. Being brief does the task. Earlier it might be considered rude to be curt and short but now being long in your sentences in informal communication (where being short is perfectly fine) might make you look like a literary snob. In a way it is quite efficient as, even though the sentences are short it gets the point through.

Either way it is seen how sentences have become shorter, words abbreviated, certain words for emotions all together turned into emoticons, gestures conveyed through words turned into visual gestures, tone conveyed by exclamations. Example –

Thou →you →u

Sad – Œ

I love you – I ♥ U

What? – ?!!!!

It is obvious from the above to the extent to which language is literally deteriorating. One could claim how language is cyclic in nature. It started from grunts and gestures and went through the phase of development of language to emergence of different languages and then evolution of words in language to abbreviation to conversion of words into visual gestures altogether. Are we going back in time? Are we becoming barbaric and unrefined? Does it matter?

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Does it matter that the English language is deteriorating? Because is not the primal use of a language to communicate? If the other person understands what you are trying to say to the same extent that you mean it, then does it actually matter how language changes? Moreover, I think when you personalize it, it defines you more, gives what you are saying more meaning if anything.

My opinion is my own and it is not my intention to offend anybody whose opinion differs from mine. Yes I still acknowledge the fact that it is important to speak right if not, change of language would not mean evolution but just mere slothfulness and ignorance of one to learn a language properly. If that were to be entertained, not a single person would understand another without a manual on their own kind of language. Yet an efficient and meaningful change should not be dismissed simply but acknowledged and embraced as the time changes too.


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