What Is the Future of English? Is It Becoming Weblish?

Will English be a language filled with emoticons soon?
Will English be a language filled with emoticons soon? | Source

Where is the English language going? Is it turning into Weblish, a kind of internet slang?

Of course English is a product of many spelling and grammar accidents that got all of us to the 21st century, but it seems like the internet is changing the language beyond recognition.

If you have seen any of my grammar hubs, you might be thinking that I’m going to dive off on some diabolical soap-box about the destruction of the English language.

I’m not. In fact, I’m going to tell you that I might even embrace some of these changes. It’s actually quite entertaining to think about where the English language might be going.

What do you think about the future of English

  • It might change some, but languages always do.
  • It'll probably stay the same.
  • It's de-evolving! Ack!
See results without voting


If you look many an online article, you’ll see that many are beautifully formatted and free of spelling errors. They do, however, often contain grammatical errors. Homophones (words that sound alike) like to, two, and too often appear as the two letter word to.

Homophones often take their most common form. The three words their, they’re and there often default to there.

But, in all actuality, though I adore my grammar, I can generally pick up the meaning.

All the monkeys screamed there heads off when I approached. I handed them peanuts.

While I admit it was difficult to write there instead of their, I consider this a forgivable grammatical sin. Shhh. Don’t tell any of the people who ever taught me grammar. They might faint in despair that I have defected!

But, really, when you think about it, three spellings for the same sound? Do we really need three when often, a single word may have many meanings and you just wait for the context?

Take, for example the word match. In one context, we could be talking about online dating, to find the perfect match. Or, we could be talking about a slender stick with a chemical material at the end that catches fire. Still, we could ask some poor child to take part in a quick game of Memory and time her to see how long it takes to match all the cards.

We don’t spell match three different ways. We don’t say, “Honey, you’re a perfect matche. Let me find a mach to light these two candles that match.

English is a little nightmarish with its homophones, don’t you think? The internet and texting might, arguably, help English to condense itself.



We’ve all seen them. The sideways smiley faces and sad faces beckoning us to twist our necks just to “right” the image, if just for personal satisfaction. Lots of word processing programs have picked up on the use of parentheses and colons to make smiley faces and sad faces, if only to help so many of us that need to see a chiropractor after looking at a smiley face or two. :)

But, it’s an interesting phenomenon.

We’re using the punctuation of the English language in a way that was never intended. I’m sure winking smiley faces never crossed the minds of the monks in the fifteenth century when they were writing out their parables. This is also about when semicolons and commas came into use.

Now, the parenthesis, colon, and semicolon are in use like they never have been before! No, their use is not endangered. In fact, most eight year olds have seen and used the semicolon more times in their short lives than I have and I’m four times their age! ;)

In conjunction with other punctuation marks, the English language is gaining in its use of punctuation and it’s not going anywhere. :^O

Normal letters and numbers are finding different uses as well: 8)

Many have wished that these emoticons go away. But, I would venture to guess that they’re not only going to not go away, but people are making art from punctuation. Did you see the owl in the photo?

At least punctuation marks aren’t endangered in the artistic sense. Who really knows if they’ll survive the technology revolution in the written sense. They were invented out of necessity to break up text and help people to know when they should pause or come to a full stop. Commas and full stops at least have a secure place in written history.

Exclamation Point

The exclamation point, however, has gone into overdrive. It’s often difficult to convey emotion in writing – especially in the short, succinct writing of this day and age – and together with the use of emoticons to help convey emotion, the exclamation point has become ubiquitous.


I’m so happy for you.

Really? You are? That’s a flat-sounding statement right there.

I’m so happy for you!

Now, with some emphasis added, it really does seem like somebody’s happy for little ol’ me.

But what happens when the exclamation point goes into overdrive?

I can’t wait until the weekend! I’m going camping! We’re going to the reservoir! We’ll be on a boat!

Really, I can’t tell what this person is talking about because I’m too busy wondering if ADD has played a significant role in this individual’s life. How can I possibly take any of that seriously?! You’ll be on a boat? Wow. You’re going to the reservoir? Big deal. I’ve been around the globe. You’re going camping? Great. I’m going to bludgeon myself with that exclamation point that you’re jabbing me with.

It’s not that exclamation points are bad, but when every phrase you use ends with one of those, I get jittery.



Those dot-dot-dot thingies!

They’re creepy, they’re crawley…dot, dot, dot….

They get WAY overused.

Something funny is happening. The full stop or period is changing his name to Dot. Didn’t you know? I think she might be transgendered, but that’s okay. Dot com wouldn’t be the same without her, don’t you think?

But, I’m not talking about the dot in the singular sense. It’s the triplet sense that worries me.

Three is not better than one.

Email, online writing and texting are caught somewhere between an actual speech conversation and a written letter. Often, people write as they think and when they pause in their thinking...they sometimes think…that they need to have a their sentence...or phrase.

En ellipsis is fine to use…once…or even twice. But when your email or online article has dots all over it, I don’t want to be thinking about the next dress pattern I’m going to sew. I’m thinking that I’d like you to get to your point already, otherwise I really might take out that polka dot pattern and shred it.

The English language will survive without the overuse of the ellipsis, but I wonder if your email will.


Interesting Acronyms

Many a teacher and reader lament that texting and online instant messaging have ruined many would-be good writers.

Maybe they’re right. Maybe, though, these acronyms can help the rest of us to shorten our speech and words in good ways.

TMI – Too much information. Most everyone who spends time online will understand this acronym. What’s interesting though, is how many employees at the watercooler let this acronym slip out.

Coworker 1: Johnny stayed over at Melinda’s last night.

Coworker 2: Did he have too much to drink? Melinda? Really?

Coworker 3: TMI. (She walks off, shaking her head. The other two shut up, knowing they probably shouldn’t have said anything in the first place. Or, maybe they’ll head to Coworker 1’s office to chat some more.)

BFF – Best friends forever. TV commercials have really popularized this particular acronym. It’s become cliché and we all roll our eyes at it. However, you know it’s probably going to stick around for awhile when you find it engraved on those little chain necklaces with those hearts. One best friend gets one, and the other best friend gets the other.

The list goes on: L8TR, BRB, LOL, LOLV, TTYL, and hundreds of other acronyms have made it into our written and even spoken vocabulary.

Poor Shakespeare. Would he have any idea how to speak English in the 21st century?

"Excuse me, Mr. Shakespeare. Your profile image is a bit aged. I think it's funny, LOL, but you should change it. I'll check back with you, TTYL."

Then again, I would have trouble understanding Shakespeare in the 15th century, I'm sure. If you have ever tried to read his plays, you'll know what I mean.

All in all, I think English is safe. It's not going to turn into Weblish. I think it will continue to gain words and punctuation will change in its use, especially if people want to put emotion in their written word: :O

© 2012 Cynthia Calhoun

More by this Author


rlaha profile image

rlaha 4 years ago from Spartanburg, SC

I am very happy that you wrote this hub. I get so upset now with people sending me text messages or emails with "ur" for your and "k" for okay. It's really rather annoying. I just wish people would write normally instead of using the Webenglish as opposed to normal English. Great hub! Voted up, useful, interesting and shared with my followers!

alocsin profile image

alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

It's ironic that people are probably doing more writing now than they ever have and yet perhaps the written language is improving. Also, written language used to follow spoken language, and now they not only seem to be moving in different directions, but a lot of the spoken language is emulating written stuff, such as when someone says LOL. Voting this Up and Interesting.

Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

Great writing to bring this dilemma into the consciousness of any English-speaking person without their thinking the grammar police are on their tale, or tail. At the same time, all languages grow. That's why we had a new edition of the OED after a half-century, and now maybe every 20 years? LOL

ThePracticalMommy profile image

ThePracticalMommy 4 years ago from United States

This is an awesome hub. I will have to admit: I am guilty of using too many ellipses. Just as you said, I use them often, but only when I'm typing or writing something to indicate the pauses in my thinking process.

As an English/Language Arts teacher, the homophones/homonyms and acronyms would drive me up a wall, especially when mistakes appeared in writing assignments. I did not appreciate seeing LOL in the middle of a research paper, nor did I appreciate ur in place of your/you're. It was very difficult for some students to break these habits when it came to academic writing.

Voted up! Well done. :)

albertsj profile image

albertsj 4 years ago from Pittsfield, Ma

This is great Cyn! I'm very guylty of the text symbols...even though I don't know them all. And why do we need to have the same word meaning different things, or even spelled different ways? (there, they're, their, and two too, to, etc) And yes our text abbreviations. I'm guilty of all. And why? I've said this before, but we've all become lazy, I guess. Yet, if it works for us, then is it okay? Hmmm Voting up, and interesting.

cloverleaffarm profile image

cloverleaffarm 4 years ago from The Hamlet of Effingham

Great hub!

As a product of the phonetics generation, it drives me crazy when folks don't spell correctly. Using their, instead of there and the others, is also a pet peeve. I'm by no means perfect, or a grammar Nazi, but I do feel that one should take the time to look it up. If I am unsure of how to spell, or use a word, I will either look it up, or find a different word to use.

I think that the upcoming generation has become lazy in using the English language correctly. You are is only a few more letters to type than UR, so why not do it correctly?

Voted up and awesome!

cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 4 years ago from Western NC Author

rlaha - I'm so glad you enjoyed this. It's amazing how so many of us are texting that shorthand stuff, isn't it? Thanks so much for the votes, too. :)

cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 4 years ago from Western NC Author

I agree alocsin. People are writing more than ever, but WHAT they are writing is interesting, no? Thanks for stopping by.

cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 4 years ago from Western NC Author

Haha, Sally, you're absolutely write er right. LOL I think they'll have to come out with the OED every TEN years at this rate. Ha!

cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 4 years ago from Western NC Author

ThePracticalMommy - I soo feel your pain. I once had a student turn in what was supposed to be an essay and he wrote, "WTF". Needless to say, I called him on it and he didn't like it. The homophones and homonyms do drive me up the wall; I think this hub is sort of a resignation that it's going to keep happening and I think English may change because of it. It will be interesting to see. Thanks so much for the votes and for commenting. :)

cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 4 years ago from Western NC Author

Jacy - I'm with you. I myself am guilty of using too many acronyms, LOL. But, if it's a form of communication and it IS working, then I'd guess it's BOUND to impact English. Or at least I think so. Thanks so much for stopping by! :)

cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 4 years ago from Western NC Author

cloverleaf - I sooo understand. It drives me bonkers with all the homophones and misspellings. What's a person to do? Write a hub about it, I guess. Haha! Thanks so much for stopping by and voting. I did LOTS of phonics when I was young and even diagrammed sentences.

B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 4 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

Thanks for the interesting hub. On reflection , I can see that the tiny keys and tiny screen of a cell phone leading to words and phrases getting shortened to a few letters or an emoticon is a continuation of a process that was going on generations ago, as in the days of the telegraph (SOS) and of semaphore flags (the peace symbol is derived from the flag positions for N and D, the initials of Nuclear Disarmament). Centuries ago the shortage of space for letters and (I suppose) the cost of skilled labor to chisel letters into tombstones led to RIP for Rest In Peace. X or XP for Christ goes back over a thousand years, as used in the labarum or Chi-Rho symbol. PhD or MD after a name is another example. Another is R.S.V.P. in a formal invitation. My favorite, from WW2, is SNAFU.

Brett.Tesol profile image

Brett.Tesol 4 years ago from Somewhere in Asia

Up, interesting and ... funny. Just kidding, but I am guilty of using three instead of one. I like the line "I’m sure winking smiley faces never crossed the minds of the monks in the fifteenth century when they were writing out their parables. ", not sure why, but this made me laugh!

There will always be a demand for correct English, but how we communicate with each other is definitely changing.

Socially shared.

cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 4 years ago from Western NC Author

B. Leekley - great points! I love the SNAFU one. Indeed, language is always changing. Thanks for your insights here - they're great!

cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 4 years ago from Western NC Author

Brett - always great to see you. I'm guilty, too, of a lot of things, including dot, dot, dot. I do indeed love correct English, but you're right, the way we communicate is definitely changing.

jellygator profile image

jellygator 4 years ago from USA

What a fun (and accurate) hub. Voted up, funny, interesting, and useful. I think you're exactly right about some of the ways English will be changed, though I admit, it all reminds me of Orwellian's 1984 language, which I believe was called Newspeak. Crazy stuff.

SMD2012 profile image

SMD2012 4 years ago

Very funny hub. I agree with you. I think the emoticons and exclamation marks are here to stay. The other thing I see people do online is dramatize their statements by describing their facial gestures sandwiched between three or four astrixes, ***eyeroll***, ***facepalm***, and so on. I could go, there are dozens of other silly things we do with punctuation, all in an effort to make our online conversations feel like face to face conversations.

Up, funny and shared.

QualityContent profile image

QualityContent 4 years ago

Funny hub, thanks for sharing. I use some of these but really try not to.

cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 4 years ago from Western NC Author

SMD2012 - thanks for stopping by! I'm so glad you found this funny. Yes! That was my intent. :D I agree about the asterisks, too. Hmm, I'll look into that a little more and perhaps add those to this hub, too. Thanks!

cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 4 years ago from Western NC Author

QualityContent - I'm glad you found this humorous. I use a lot of these, too. I'm sure I OVERUSE some of them, haha. Oh well. C'est la vie, right? Thanks so much for stopping by.

cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 4 years ago from Western NC Author

Oh, jellygator, I love the connection to Orwell. I have often thought about that with our love of technology and smart phones and the like. It will be very interesting to see what the future brings, both in terms of language and technology. Thanks for stopping by.

Ruchira profile image

Ruchira 4 years ago from United States

English is becoming such a funny language and I see many hubs on it now :)

I think I recently read a hub by Jacy.

You have given justice to it and I agree with all that you have to say :) Voted up, Cindy!

thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 4 years ago from West Virginia

Voted up, useful, and interesting CC. You make some great points in this article. You can make a strong argument that it is. Nearly everywhere you look, there is sone type of English slang. On the web, especially the social sites, it is everywhere.

cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 4 years ago from Western NC Author

Ruchira - well hello, friend! Thanks for stopping by! Thank you so much for your insights and comments.

cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 4 years ago from Western NC Author

thelyricwriter - it IS everywhere, isn't it? I wonder if all writing will end up being like Weblish. I don't think so, but it's interesting to think about where the language will be in 10 or 15 years for sure.

Larry Wall 4 years ago

People say I am a fairly decent writer. However, I am a lousy speller. I do not know if it is a combination of poor eyesight, speech impediment and some kind of undetected hearing impairment, but I make too many mistakes. I envy those who get it right the first time. There have been times I have written news releases or columns that were flawless--not often but sometimes. I have no use for the shortcuts used in text messages, but I am forgiving of misspelled words. My wife, a teacher for 29 years, and I disagree over the use of commas. As a former reporter, I followed newspaper rules and for instance, we did not put a comma before the word and in a series of items. We also spelled employee with one e (that rule finally went by the wayside). Good writing is hard to manage. You made some good points without preaching. As some by say, "you done good."

cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 4 years ago from Western NC Author

Larry - great, insightful comments. I appreciate your feedback here. I was a pretty good speller until I learned Spanish - known as a phonetic language. Now, I constantly have to backtrack and make sure I'm still spelling things the "English" way. Judging by your comment here and your use of "too" and "to" and your explanation of commas, I'd say that you were probably an incredible reporter and I'll even bet people flocked to read your material. Great writing yourself! Thanks so much for stopping by.

jellygator profile image

jellygator 4 years ago from USA

Hey, Larry, for what it's worth, I'd vote on the "no comma before 'and' in a series." That's how I learned it in elementary school, and somewhere along the way it changed. :(

cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 4 years ago from Western NC Author

jellygator - I like that idea! I used to not ever include it, now I sometimes do, just because the rule is fuzzy there. I wish it was more clear-cut. Oh well, maybe it'll swing back the other way and we won't stick a comma befre the "and."

ytsenoh profile image

ytsenoh 4 years ago from Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, Missouri

Really nice hub and well put together and stated. Thank you. Whenever I use ellipses in a text message, I mean I'll continue later, not enough time to text, or else I'd just call. I'm not a big user or promoter of acronyms unless it's the musical group who sings "I'm always shufflin'," because I always am. I have a journalism degree and I'm a perfectionist, but I make allowances. The term, "weblish," is interesting to me. I think one of my pet peeves is unnecessary language like words such as "that" which is overly used. I give you thumbs up because you make valid points to ponder. Thanks!

cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 4 years ago from Western NC Author

ytsenoh - thank you so much for your insights. Weblish is a word I found while doing research for this hub. I liked it. Thank you so much for the thumbs up and your comments.

tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 4 years ago from North Carolina

Great hub and very true. I feel bad for older people trying to figure out what things like ROFL means. I have discovered there is another major occurance happening in the English language and you could research this in your daily teaching. If you listen closely to radio hosts, tv, general converation, people are ALL ommitting the "a" in conversation. I heard a radio dj just today say: "he's nice guy." I think it is lazy speech, but EVERYONE is doing it. Who knows. This is a fabulous hub!

cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 4 years ago from Western NC Author

Thanks, tammy. I hope you're having a WONDERFUL day! :) I hadn't noticed the lack of the "a" in conversation, but you're right, I'm not hearing it. Either that, or people are just "sliding" it, meaning that they're saying it so fast and barely making a sound with it that it's not audible. Either way, that is a very curious thing. You gave me a hub idea...I'll have to do more research on it.

Ardie profile image

Ardie 4 years ago from Neverland

I admit I am awful with my use of the exclamation point and those eilpy-things. I am SO happy for you!!! I mean uh...who wouldn't be?! See...I use them both all the time! I will try to curb my enthusiasm hahah Great Hub as always CC!!!!!!!!...

Cloverleaf profile image

Cloverleaf 4 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

OMG I'm laughing soooooo much!!! :) Great hub!

grinnin1 profile image

grinnin1 4 years ago from st louis,mo

Great hub- you are so right on all accounts. However, I still refuse to lol!

cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 4 years ago from Western NC Author

Ardie - (((HUGS))) Howz about that for the future of English!?! LOL - you are too funny. You can come over here and use those dot, dot, dot thingies and exclamation points any ol' time you want! :D

cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 4 years ago from Western NC Author

Cloverleaf - hehehe. You are too funny. :D Thanks for stopping by!

cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 4 years ago from Western NC Author

grinnin1 - hehehe. :D Oh boy, I am already so corrupted by weblish. It's okay.

AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 4 years ago from California

I must say, I am guilty of some of these in my commenting, particularly overuse of the exclamation point--(but I really do mean it and want you to know it!!) Thank you for writing this hub.

cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 4 years ago from Western NC Author

Oh, Audrey - I am, too! I mean, how else are we going to express emotion!? :D Thanks for stopping by! Hehehe.

vespawoolf profile image

vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

This is so true! I am guilty of over-use of exclamation points and emoticons in my comments, I suppose because I consider it casual writing. I think a lot of the acronyms came from text messaging and it's sad what this is doing to the English language. At the same time, writing online has increased so that makes this a catch-22, as they say.

cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 4 years ago from Western NC Author

vespawoolf - you are so right about the catch-22. Don't feel guilty - I wrote this with ME in mind, with all those emails sent to the boss with those ellipses - yikes! I wonder if she's rolled her eyes a time or two at me. Oops. Oh well. :)

Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

These days you have to be in sync n sync and in sink to get things. I'm just trying to remember basic English long enough to know how to write. But you're right some things get overused and I am just as guilty as anyone else but it would be better only if other people remember that English is still something we should value in written form. I can't use k and ur in writing. It just would devolve the connection between the words for me. Great hub Cyndi!

cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 4 years ago from Western NC Author

Alecia - you made me think of that band N Sync - perhaps we'll just blame all this on them, LOL! I do hope, just as you said, that there still needs to be a higher standard for formal writing. I just can't see my grandma enjoying an article with LOL's and ROFL's all over it. :D You're awesome.

vespawoolf profile image

vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

Still, these are very good reminders. I think sometimes I try to inject "character" into my comments and instead, the "weblish" becomes a crutch. Thanks for a great hub. Voted up, awesome and useful.

cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 4 years ago from Western NC Author

vespawoolf - thanks so much for stopping by again. I like "character" in my writing, too. Now...if there was a way to do it without all those funny acronyms. LOL

vespawoolf profile image

vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

So true! : )

cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 4 years ago from Western NC Author

vespawoolf - thanks for stopping by again. :) I just love your comments.

molometer profile image

molometer 4 years ago from Cambridgeshire, England

This is a great hub and deals with the eternal question.

What is happening to English?

I am sure Shakespeare would be totally confused if he woke up today? I like how you have covered this topic here. Very interesting.

I was fortunate enough to grow up in the East End of London, where many new words are generated for the English language.

Voted up and all buttons SHARING

I wrote a hub on 'Manglish' maybe we should exchange links?

BlissfulWriter profile image

BlissfulWriter 4 years ago

I must be showing my age since i didn't know what some of these acronyms were.

cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 4 years ago from Western NC Author

OH, molometer! I'm going to have to head over and look at Manglish - I feel a SHARE coming on! :D Thanks so much for stopping by and for the votes.

cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 4 years ago from Western NC Author

BlissfulWriter - I feel your pain. There are plenty of acronyms that I have to look up - that in itself is like learning another language. :)

Lissie Loomes profile image

Lissie Loomes 4 years ago from Tasmania, Australia

I found this hub very entertaining. As a newbie to HubPages I have a lot to learn and using humour to get your points across is a skill I shall try to learn. Voted up

cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 4 years ago from Western NC Author

Lissie - welcome to HubPages! I'm glad you liked this. :) At first I was terrified of trying to use humor, but once you practice, you sort of get the hang of it. :)

Glenn Stok profile image

Glenn Stok 4 years ago from Long Island, NY

It's really all about the way we communicate. Smart phones with tiny keyboards are the main reason why people use webenglish. That may be changing soon with increased use of speech to text. My new iPad has that feature. The keyboard has a microphone icon that I can click and then talk instead of type. It even produces proper English grammar. LOL. ;)

cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 4 years ago from Western NC Author

Glenn Stok - technology is amazing, isn't it? I didn't know the iPad could do that! :) That's great! Perhaps we'll just keep adding more words to the English language and slowly phase out paper and pencil, haha. Thanks for stopping by. Thanks for the tip about the iPad.

kingmaxler profile image

kingmaxler 4 years ago from Olympia, Washington USA

Well done. I like embracing change and valuing the established. I enjoyed this read and I am passing it on especially to those who think only linearly.

cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 4 years ago from Western NC Author

kingmaxler - thank you so much for stopping by and commenting. I'm with you: change happens, so embrace, but keep the roots going strong. :) Thank you for the kudos, too.

Larry Wall 4 years ago

One of the comic strips in the paper today, had the children telling the parents that the school had stated that all correspondence with teachers must be electronic.

The parents, looking a little confused, said it was probably more efficient.

The children replied, "The teachers can't read cursive."

My handwriting is horrible, but when I was writing notes on behalf of or about my son, teachers always got angry that they were "typed." Of course, my notes were typed as business letters, so I guess I appeared to be somewhat intimidating. They times, they have changed.

cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 4 years ago from Western NC Author

Larry - I'm right there with you. I'm a teacher and many, many parents do actually prefer email, text and voice messaging. It's all very interesting. One cardinal rule for teachers that I learned: stuff DOES get lost in translation. It's so easy for a parent to misinterpret a note or vice versa since it's harder to convey subtle meaning in text. But, technology is definitely here to stay. :) Thanks for stopping by! Oh, and yes, some people seem to make chicken scratches, haha. But, I wouldn't say ALL notes are indecipherable. Hehe.

cloverleaffarm profile image

cloverleaffarm 4 years ago from The Hamlet of Effingham

Oh, I use to diagram sentences. I barely remember how to do it. It's been a long time. I went to a private school, so we were MADE to learn. It's not a complaint. I'm glad I went. It made me the person I am today.

Larry, I had to laugh at your comment. It's probably true. Cursive writing seems to have gone the way of the dinosaur, and it is truly sad. They barely gave any time to my kids (over 15 years ago), and the foster kids we had had exactly two weeks. Really? That barely gave them time to learn their name. I, luckily learned by the Palmer Method series. Goodness, I am old.

cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 4 years ago from Western NC Author

cloverleaffarm - I can't believe how little time is spent on handwriting now. Basically - and I say this as a teacher - enough time is given so that they learn to print. But, as early as 1st grade, many schools teach keyboarding skills. There are still so many instances when handwritten stuff is so much better than typed stuff: diaries, snail-mail letters, taking notes in class, etc. I learned cursive. Now, my handwriting is a permanent combo of cursive and print - probably because I DO spent so much time on the computer. Oh well. Hehe. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. (HUGS)

diamond1mo profile image

diamond1mo 4 years ago from Arizona

I enjoyed the premise. Globish is quickly replacing English as the lingua franca.

What about that annoying convention of starting sentences with a conjunction?

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cclitgirl 4 years ago from Western NC Author

Diamond - ah, yes, it's interesting to watch how language is changing. Already in the last 10 years we have so many more words in English than even when I was growing up. It's crazy! I think it will continue changing and it'll also be interesting to see what happens with all the common grammar mistakes out there, whether they become the "norm" or not. Hmmm. Cheers!

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chef-de-jour 4 years ago from Wakefield, West Yorkshire,UK

Thanks so much for this insightful hub. It'd be interesting to see what the general trends are - how many words become archaic each generation, how many new ones are added and are they longer or shorter? Mostly connected with technology?

I think Shakespeare would understand some of what was said to him (and we about half of his English?),and none of us would have understood Geoffrey Chaucer!

I have problems understanding the English when I go to Scotland but that's usually because of the accent.

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cclitgirl 4 years ago from Western NC Author

Chef - what fun ideas! You gave me a hub idea and I'm just going to have to look into words that get lost vs. ones that we keep. Very interesting!

Hehe, Shakespeare was brilliant; I would give anything to have him travel through time into our century and hear him speak. :D Cheers!

puella 4 years ago


The issue of this hub I find it is not really a big one if /when we are in a vis-a-vis 'chat' just because then there is a more obvious context, and you know, interpretation/meaning is directly related to context, and other abilities of the participants like intuition, background, etc.

That's why when you cite the homophones, they may not be that critical after all... unless we are outsiders to what is going on ;)...

Even if English had the so called and intended 'phonetic spelling' to make it easier for a better written English, we will have to deal with spoken English and all that you mention, regardless. In writing, there has to be a more refined use of the language and for that there are more guidelines in how to write, the style, the components of the written, be it a tech. report, a reported speech, a weather report or a novel, a poem, or any other literary creation...

I doubt that in a 'formal' environment this situation will be frequent as, again, we are in a formal context and we all know there is much more at stake, and for that, we will have to behave accordingly.

To me, miscommunication is rooted on a different issue, that of attitude: not so much related to the grammar itself but to indifference for good speaking habits/effort; and also because to shorten words is almost an urgent need given that texting usually happens while we drive (I have not ever nor will text while I drive, but pretty much 'everybody' is texting from what I see, and I drive a lot around town! and the urgency is magnified because the device itself is, well, too small to write with comfort; in my case, I have a laptop and I really will change to a desktop just because I feel the laptop 'confines' me and my abilities and creativity (I find myself rewriting too frequently).

I do a lot of research over the internet; not a single time have I found a white paper or an article in a journal or an e-book showing any of the issues you mention; then my conclusion is no, the internet has not yet changed our beloved language...

What you mention is just a subworld that would need a lot of use and widening scope and a long time of existence to mean definite changes (linguistic changes take time and justification, like sainthood for the Vatican ;); and experience says that all these sprouts have a perishable date; technology changes are too close to each other and, whatever was innovation yester today is obsolete, and no kidding...

You mention that the internet is changing English? well we will have to see that formalized in institutional publications; so far, it is a 'language' used in a particular environment that offers more freedom to express what we think without being shy just because we are not knowledgeable enough on the subject, for example; then, the fact that nobody knows/sees us, gives more room for spontaneity; also, whatever we say, for example, in this kind of sites, like hubpages, and many other forums and blogs and debates etc, etc, etc, does not have to be submitted to the liking of the many who read, does not have to be certified as true or valid; does not have to satisfy any rating, etc therefore, what is it that will stop us from saying anything we consider 'pertinent' and written however we choose to write it? (within the rules of each moderator, rules more to be observed from the bad behaviour, than from the subject/topic on the table and the style used to write it (the wordings, the grammar?...)and then change our minds? nothing; we are allowed to change our mind too.

A written text should definitely follow the little rules English language has, as compared to, for example, Spanish. But, again, English is one excellent representative of the cultural background: pragmatism.

Then, this explains why in English we can, for example, say "oh, do not 'I am too tired to mow the yard" me... This kind of verbal creation, mostly seen in conversations of close-related people, be it for having the same 'fuzzy' boss, or being in the soccer team, or members of the same parish..and it is done because it still satisfies the main purpose of language: communication

Interesting and a must-read hub for all of us: I enjoyed. TY!

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cclitgirl 4 years ago from Western NC Author

Puella - wow! What a comment! Indeed, this is mostly an opinion piece, but a fun write nonetheless. It will be interesting to see how our culture changes language over time. I know in Shakespeare's time, there were SO MANY less words in the English language. However, the culture at the time dictated what words were used and spoken. Our culture now has so many words that are technology-related and technology is becoming a cornerstone for business, education, and even in our home lives. Thus, our language, I feel, will definitely reflect our cultural interests. To be sure, we didn't have words like "Google, internet, Tivo, ISP, domain, IP" and things like that in use the way we have them in use now 15 years ago. I also make a living using technology - it certainly reflects how I communicate with the world. Thanks so much for your insights. :) Have a great day!

puella 4 years ago


TY for your comment.

Evolution affects us all, and that includes, language (as we all function within the particulars of our culture, and without language, we are "mute"? so to speak so cultural manifestations would be great secrets ;)

Languages do experience (I think you know that, but let's allow redundancy) vocabulary losses and gains, also import-export of vocabulary, as part of "progress" and new avenues; however, that is a vocabulary realm and not a grammar one nor the functioning of the language itself; the purity of a language is no more as a global society imposes additions and deletions, but the structure of English, and of Spanish, or else, as conventional standard languages will be mostly the same until new conventions are adopted and old eliminated; In Spanish we know that RAE sets the guidelines for the language and it will be right or wrongly spoken when it follows or not those guidelines; to have the "honor" to belong to the board of RAE, members must have had a high level performance in the subject from the broad cultural perspective viewpoint;

In English, there is no body of experts setting standards for the grammar, so how can we speak of faulty grammar? as compared to what? The most comprehensive effort towards the language is represented by the Oxford Encyclopedia, and perhaps Webster; but those mostly talk of the variations in meanings of the vocabulary, its origins, etc but as far as the grammar, it is and has been pretty much the same...since Willi, who dared to say "all is well that ends well"

Of course what you say about Google and that, is part, a living one, of our culture, and "our" means the whole planet ;) not only English realm; but that is just normal; the same could be said about medicine jargon? or sports jargon? or news or physics or math? Does any of that means that English is changing? How?

My greatgrandmom did not know what a TV was but she indeed spoke her language to an exquisite level...I know a lot about cooking, but my husband knows 'cero" does that mean that he does not speak English correctly? He has written 8 books so far ;) so I guess he can speak some...and all about computer science, logic, etc' his readers all understand the books, but I do not, but I speak proper English!!! (so my profs. used to say)...

We report our culture and not vice versa...

Technology is not becoming , technology is, cornerstone for business; to begin by its use in governmental institutions, also known as "e-government" (taxes, applications for this and that, drivers licensse, etc); so too for businesses, there are still the brick and mortar faces, but the internet volume of business transactions has experienced an exponential growth; now one way to classify other countries in their readiness for business (at global level) is termed by the information sciences as "e-readiness" which must include the physical installations and the human capital (readiness for the use of the technology and the forms business has taken when done online, like contracts formalities, signatures, security, privacy, etc...It is a whole subculture still but English remains the same old same old...

cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 4 years ago from Western NC Author

Puella - hear, hear! Indeed, language is ever-evolving and fascinating to study - which is indeed why I studied languages and cultures while at university. :-) Thanks for your insightful comments - they are a great addition to the discussion here. Have a wonderful day!

kelleyward 3 years ago

Great hub Cyndi! This is something that is hear to stay. I guess we should all embrace it :) Voted up and shared! Kelley

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cclitgirl 3 years ago from Western NC Author

Kelley - indeed! LOL. I mean, language is always changing and it reflects what's going on in a culture, too, so I would guess that we'll be hearing BFF for years to come. :)

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howlermunkey 3 years ago from Tampa, FL

Eng lang def changing, thx to twitter lol. Asking myself how many chars r left healthy? not, but is our future. yes. #putthoughthere ;) , great hub and great point.

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cclitgirl 3 years ago from Western NC Author

Howlermunkey - HA! Fny. :)

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