America is ruining the English languageBy Jessica SotoJohn Alejandro Toro
Some opinions in favorFrancis Moore: In 1735 Description of thetown of Savannah “It is about a mile and aquarter in circumference; it stands upon theflat of a hill, the bank of the river (which theyin barbarous English call Bluff) is steep.”Earlier English had no name for this sort ofriver bank because they hardly existed inEngland.
• Prince of Wales: In 1995 the Prince was reported by The Times as complaining to the British Council audience that American English is “very corrupting“ “people tend to invent all sorts of nouns and verbs and make words that shouldn’t be” (Bluff)• Edwin Neman: In 1974 Linguist prophet who sees the language style for his fellow Americans as deadly. He vaticinated in a book called Strictly speaking, which was subtitled Will America be the Death of English? In it too he objected to the invention of all sorts of nouns and verbs and words that shouldn’t be.
• One way that Americans are ruining English is by changing it. Many of us, like Francis Moore and Prince Charles, regard what is foreign to us as barbarous and corrupt. The assumption is that anything new is American and thus objectionable on double grounds.
• Change in language is, However, inevitable, just as it is in all other aspects of reality. • But a language or anything else that does not change is dead.• The idea of thinking that a language wouldn’t change is a chimera (an illusion)
• Judgments of what is beautiful or ugly, valuable or useless, barbarous or elegant, corrupting or improving are highly personal and idiosyncratic ones.• Particular changes will be, in the eyes of the observer or another, improvements or degenerations.
• There are no objective criteria for judging worth in language, no linguistic Tables of the Law.• No one is required to like all or any particular changes.• Both British English and American English have changed and go on changing today.
History of the English LanguageSo many languagesinfluenced in theevolution of theEnglish language, fromAnglo-Frisian,Germanic,Indo-European andmaybe Nostratic orProto-World.
The language changed or evolvedfrom:1. Old English (450-1100 A.D.)2. Middle English (1100- 1500 A.D.)3. Early Modern English. (1500- 1800 A.D.)4. Late Modern English (1800- Today)From the evolution of Englishitself we can see that no language is “pure”, all language has had it’s influence by other languages creating changes in it.
Why or how did British and American English get to be so different? • British and American English started to become different when English speakers first set foot on American soil because the colonists found new things to talk about and also because they ceased to talk regularly with the people back home. • American and British evolved in different ways from a common sixteenth- century ancestral standard.
•Retain the r-sound. •Lost the r-sound.•Retain the ‘flat a’ (cat). •Replaced it with the ‘broad a’.•Retain a secondary stresson the •British lost the stress and oftensecond syllable from the end of the vowel, reducing the word towords (secretary). three syllables (secret’ry).•Retain the past participle form •Distinguish difference between agotten beside got. ‘t- sound’ and a ‘d-sound’ (atom- adam).
British speakers have also been extraordinarilyfertile in expanding the range of use for tagquestions:1. Informational: ‘You don’t wear glasses, do you?’2. Inclusive: ‘It’s a nice day, isn’t it?’3. Emphasizing: ‘I made a bad mistake, didn’t I?’4. Peremptory: ‘Is the tea ready?’ ‘The water has to boil, doesn’t it?’5. Antagonistic: ‘I telephoned you this morning but you didn’t answer’ ‘I was in the bath, wasn’t I?’
Both Americans and the British innovate in Englishpronunciation, vocabulary and grammar.British people, however, tend to be more aware ofAmerican innovations than American are of Britishones.Perhaps Americans do innovate more; after allthere are four to five times as many English speakersin the U.S.A. as in the United Kingdom.Americans have been disproportionately active incertain technological fields.
English is destined to be in the next andsucceeding centuries more generally thelanguage of the world than Latin was in thelast or French is in the present age. Thereason of this is obvious, because theincreasing population in America, and theiruniversal connection and correspondencewith all nations will, aided by the influenceof England in the world, whether great orsmall, force their language into general use.