Language ideologies


Nick Dixon

There was a similar uproar when texting patois took over mobile communications, mostly by the young but as they grew up and communicated with human beings they learned to up their game because they had to. Nothing to see here.

Brian Brasford

@Nick Dixon

There is the more serious problem of most young people’s total addiction to mobile phones. They will use them to communicate when they are sat next to each other, every day I see dozens of them walking along glued to their phones. It has become a way of life for them. In a cafe the other day I witness a young family of 4 sat there and they were all using them at the same time.


Peter Day

Social media in itself, has ruined much of the normal human intercourse with our neighbours. One great failure of the network that convey these messages and the ones that rely on it most are struck dumb. I am of an earlier vintage and I left facebook a year ago, so few privileges of connection with it will disrupt me.

Emily Curryer (my comment)  

@Peter Day

Is social media really solely to blame for the ‘normal human intercourse with our neighbours’? I don’t think so, in fact I believe you’re being deaf to the fact  everyone has a choice whether to use social media; people decide it at their own free will. I will agree emoji has disrupted the English language, however I don’t think it’s fair to say it is mostly the young who use it. My dad is 54 and he uses more emojis than I do. In fact sometimes I have to question him what he means. He’s in his middle age, therefore being of an ‘earlier vintage’ does not applaud you or make you heroic for deleting facebook, it is not a difficult task. What’s more, my dad has a very prestigious job, landing him nearly three figures a year so forgive me if I don’t agree that mot people who convey these messages are ‘struck dumb’, it is most likely your ignorance that makes you think in this stereotypical way.

Analysis of comment

Being patriarchal I think, we have all adopted an ideology of protection for the English language. A sociolinguist may suggest language innovation comes from personal relationships with one another, that it is not solely media’s doing, it simply acts as a mirror. This is what I believe.

Being a part of the world and coming into contact with other people is only natural and we use communication as a tool. People may use media  which I do agree, if we continually come into contact with people using more ‘degrading’ language then yes, our language will decline too. For example, the very fact my dad has an up-to-date smart phone built with emoji language forces him to use it. In addition because people use it to build relationships with one another, for example, I’d message my dad a love heart or a smiley face to express how I feel.

I’d also suggest it isn’t ‘dumb’ people conveying these messages but in fact it is people who choose to use it. Media is very good at creating fear where there doesn’t need to be; it takes a discussion, whether language is deteriorating, suggests some applaudable reasons why, then uses this discourse and peoples own ideologies to make people believe we won’t be able to communicate if it keeps deteriorating.

Avoiding media as I suggested, doesn’t make you avoidable to language change. Deleting apps or not watching certain programmes doesn’t mean you will be more literate. In fact studies show that real life language can massively effect a way a child will grow up. For example, if we swear more around children, they are more likely to become aggressive. This is the same with emoji; if we constantly use ‘slang’ we are more likely to use it in situation we should not.


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