The Metamorphosing English Language

Thousands of words may have been added to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) in recent years, yet it would be a mistake to think that this is the limit of English. The OED, being a descriptivist endeavour, will always be lagging behind, and now more so than ever, as new technology permits new registers for language to be played with. Social media platforms like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp create a written medium that has the speed and interaction of speech and come with their own newly minted lexicons. Yet it is important for the OED to recognise the new words that emerge from these kinds of mediums of communication, partly as a resource for studying the language, but also to give words a sense of respectability – like a shield to hold off those pedants decrying the deterioration of English. As such, see this article as more of a personal view on changes to the language that I like, not a judgement on the new words. Continue reading The Metamorphosing English Language