As with anything, the English language is ever-evolving. But how noticeable is this evolution? How does the English we use today compare to what people were using hundreds of years ago, or even as little as 50 years ago? And what will the English Language sound like in another 50 or 100 years? Our below blog post details the evolution of the English Language and how it could look, or sound, in years to come.
How Has English Evolved Already?
When have you ever used the words Expergefactor, Fudgel, or my personal favourite, Crapulous? Never! Well, these were common English terms once upon a time. The history of the English Language dates back to as early as the 5th century when Anglo-Saxons first settled in Britain, since then, English has evolved into something totally unrecognisable from Old English.
Many modern English speakers would have great difficulty understanding written or spoken Old English, however, a huge amount of the words we use today derive from what would have once been familiar vocabulary. Examples of modern English words deriving from the earliest forms of the English Language include: afford, blossom, and ordeal.
It is already recognised that the English Language is changing, and we have already seen many different forms of the language, with Old English evolving into Middle English, then Early Modern English, and finally into the form we know today.
So, Is English Really Changing?
Of course English is changing. As mentioned above, its already recognised that the English Language has evolved from Old English to Modern English, and all the forms in between. But, what about in more recent times? Is the evolution of the English Language noticeable?
Well, just think about words and phrases you’ve heard your parents say. Would you ever think to use terms like “Word from the bird” to explain the truth, or “Galivant” to explain travel? Equally, how many times have you heard your parents use phrases such as “LOL” or “YOLO”? Terms like “Voicemail”, “Hoodie” and “Selfie” weren’t even a thing 50 years ago. The English Language has changed drastically, even in recent history.
New words are continually entering the language and old ones slowly fall into disuse. Slang, technology and innovation are all helping to change the English Language.
How Is The English Language Evolving?
Well, technology has helped to shape the English Language as we know it. What were once common daily occurrences, have little to no importance nowadays. For example, how many times in the past 10 years have you heard of somebody visiting a travel agent or making sure they have enough change for a payphone? Technology has helped to shape the habits of the population, and as such, has helped to shape the English Language.
Infact, a study by English Language Expert, Professor John Sutherland, suggests that the English Language is evolving faster than ever. The study also found that 86 per cent of British parents think teenagers speak an entirely different language on social media and mobile messaging, suggesting that evolution is taking place even in the short term.
What Will English Sound Like In 100 Years?
It’s difficult to predict what the future of English will look or sound like. But, based on the progress which has already been made, it’s fair to say that technology is almost certainly going to help shape the future of the English Language. Familiar words and phrases of today will slowly become obsolete, and will be replaced with new words and phrases.
The ease of travel will also help to shape the future of the English Language, with more and more interaction between different cultures, and as such, more and more opportunities to pick up new vocabulary.
If you would like to learn more about the ins and outs of the English Language, then why not consider an English Language Course with LTC? Our English Courses in Eastbourne are designed to make the most out of your English studies while enabling you to practise your skills in an authentic environment.