Monday, 26 July 2010

Language Evolves

Never heard of toodles till I met someone British. A swell way to say goodbye I muse to myself. But according to Wikipedia it’s French: A shortened, more casual version of the French expression à tout à l'heure (Anglicized as "toodle-oo"), meaning goodbye.
How interesting. Not too long ago I read an article in the paper with reference to a fellow by the name of Grant Barrett. His book so happily called The Official Dictionary of Unofficial English. Another wards slang. Apparently it’s a book that tracks the life cycles of slang. My dear dad would roll over in his grave if he held something like that in his hand.
Beside father’s reading chair lay an Oxford Dictionary. For as long as he could he would hold a book in his hand and read. (He had suffered a stroke at the age of fourty-four and was left paralyzed on his left side, so he had one working hand only.) He loved to read, watch the news, listen to the radio and stay on top of current affairs. He also loved to preach what was important to him. One such line heard often was “Speak the Queen’s English!”
The English language has evolved. No question. With computers and text messaging the written word has also changed. New words get added. I’m one for making up my own too. It concerns me though, with spell checks and computers, how are kids growing up to read, write and speak proper English? Theatre is a sure vehicle for pushing the power of the spoken word, but it too is fading away.
I picked up one of dad’s old Winston Churchill books the other day. Written a long time ago. There were words I had to look up on some pages. The style was different. The sentences were elegant.
Amazon has claimed more sales of late with the electronic era then in the real hard cover book. Newspapers are dissolving. Really, will everything have to be read in the future on a computer screen? I shutter to think. I shutter to think if dad were alive today, what he would say.


Anonymous said...

funny... is "Another wards" also Queen's English? ;-)

Jane Victoria King said...

See, I used spell check. Hilarious!