I’m going to say at the very onset, this post is probably unlike anything you’ve ever read before.
This post is dedicated to a very dear subject of mine, English and well… its history. Well, the subject title might be a little nondescript and for some, a little too condescending and flummoxing, but I assure you, my dear reader, it is neither. For most of my English author friends and others who supposedly converse is the precocious language of English, this post might serve to be an eye-opener, to others, a rather peculiar history of a universally known language. I hope to keep my discursive short and to the point, but please do bear with my deviation as I assure you I will bring it all to a concluding point.
Now, I shall begin. Where was this devious language called English, born? England, one might presume. Well, the people of England did use and propagate it to a level where it is now, but English as a language wasn’t or rather, didn’t belong to any particular community or country. English was, and still is a sort of a mix breed. Something that happens when you mix soda and fruit juice, something is formed that you neither can recognize nor can you imagine what it could be. English is technically a grammatical compilation of different European languages. So, technically, they wouldn’t have had the word pyjamas or loot if the Brits hadn’t ruled India. Or James Cameron wouldn’t have been able to make the amount of money he did from Avatar or you would just be having some boring sauce instead of awesome chutney. You would have had just row houses instead of Bungalows. These words are actually part of the Oxford English Dictionary! In retrospect, even the word Bollywood, has carved its space in the English dictionary.
English, at a time was a language of the commoners and not the royalty since they considered it a lowly language. Interesting to note, here in India, we are taught in history that we learnt English because the British had ruled over us, that English was a mark of development. Conversely, half the population of the so called developed nations don’t speak English. And when they do, it is heavy with their native accent.
This is a point where I begin to ebb away from my real objective and begin to ramble. If you are here with me right now, I need a moment to laud your absolute patience and determination.
Coming back, English in its nature is ever-changing. So back in the 16th century, a man came about to revolutionize the language. A man who would practically change the way English as a language was viewed and used. Let me introduce, Mr. William Shakespeare. His plays revolutionized England at that point in time. It was the first time a drama was open to both commoners and the royalty to enjoy. He was alone responsible for the addition of more than a hundred words to the language. Imagine cooking up a hundred words which didn’t sound too much of an anomaly. You couldn’t be addicted or drugged if it weren’t for him. Edmund Hillary would just have been a climber and not a mountaineer. He practically was responsible for the rebirth of English itself. A Renaissance of a language, so to speak.
Now, fast-forwarding five hundred years into the future, into our internet age; the age of virtual communication. And today, a new version English is being born, just like every Chinese company is bringing a new phone into the market. It is something that the world has never witnessed before. Shakespeare himself might be looking down from his heavenly abode and laughing his wits off. New words are forming every day, every hour and every second around the world.
Now, it intrstng 2 not dat thes words r usly frmd by rmving certen vowels and consonants that apparently seemed useless and thus discarded. Most of the times, what becomes wut and some people also take the pains to write whut. I mean, seriously? Why are people ready to take pains to write the wrong spelling?!? This is as hilarious as it is saddening. Then came about an invention known as the “autocorrect”. But humans are a shrewd race. They disabled it. Or better still, they added the new incomprehensible dumbfounding list of words to the existing dictionary of comprehensible words in order to simplify their work.
English is changing, undoubtedly. Change is necessary, again without a flicker of doubt. The dictionary no more sits on top of desks for ready reference. You don’t have a word? Make it. The spirit of Shakespeare lives on. But in what form? That is a question we need to ask.
P.S. This elaborate essay wasn’t meant to hurt the sentiments of the existing members of the human race who plot conniving ways to distort a language. It simply serves to bring into light a matter which I find exceedingly terrifying yet funny. Hope you all like and share it.