Keep up with the Latest English!

Not just English but every language produces new sayings and the grammer rules. This is quite normal because “everything is changing” and the language itself is a living thing. In my opinion, it is not true to label the changes as “mistakes”. It is just hard to witness a change, we all have a language habit and the new generation is replacing our habits with new patterns and rules. Maybe, the next generation will not suffer as much as we do 🙂 I do not have solid ideas about the new rules or patterns. I am trying to keep up with novelties and enjoying to see how far a language can be  flexible. Crawford Kilian wrote a wonderful article explaining this issue. I pasted only the part about the changes. I recommend you to read the whole article if you are interested. You can find the link at the bottom of the page as usual.

1. “Thank you very much.” “No problem.” In Old English, the answer would be: “You’re welcome.”

2. “Me and him went to the Canucks game.” In Old English, “me” and “him” are in the objective case, not the subjective; in New English, “I” and “me” and “he” and “him” are interchangeable: “Dad gave he and I tickets to the Canucks game.”

3. “Snow and sleet is falling on the Coquihalla.” Old English treats a compound subject as plural. New English doesn’t know what a compound subject is.

4. “The Sedins played great in the third period.” In Old English, verbs take adverbs, not adjectives: “The Sedins played brilliantly in the third period.”

5. “You did real good in your presentation, you’re sure to make the sale.” In Old English, you do real good when you donate to the Red Cross, and you do really well when your presentation impresses your audience. Also, in Old English, you put a period or semicolon between one independent clause and another if you don’t want to use a conjunction like “so.”

6. “We’ve done alright since we moved to Calgary.” In Old English, “alright” is alwrong. We say “all right.”

7. “The company has less full-time employees, but the amount of part-timers has grown.” In Old English, “less” and “amount” apply only to non-count nouns like “flour” and “wealth.” It says “fewer employees” and “number of part-timers.”

8. “The committee made a fulsome study of the problem.” In Old English, “fulsome” means insincerely flattering. In New English, it somehow means “full.”

9. “She’s an alumni of Simon Fraser.” In Old English (and Old Latin), “alumni” is the male plural of “alumnus,” and she must be an alumna of SFU.

10. “So I’m like, ‘What’s your problem?'” In Old English, “I’m like” is pronounced “I said.”

Click here to read the whole article.

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6 responses to this post.

  1. So, I like really enjoyed it, yo!


  2. Posted by Koprinka Tchervenkova on March 14, 2012 at 12:45

    As I know, “old English” is a subject which you study at the university, and it is like old German.
    The examples, which are given, show the influence of American English, so I do not think we can speak of ” the latest English”.
    In Bulgarian we have such “modern” words which are impossible to understand if you do not know English or if you are not an IT specialist. Nevertheless, I would never speak in this way as, in my opinion, this has nothing to do with “modern” Bulgarian.


    • Well, in Turkey we have a situation more or less like Bulgaria. It is all about internet and advertising. When I walk on a busy street, most of the shop names is English. It is just normal for a language to undergo some changes when it is exposed to English that much. However, in my opinion, we, as linguists or translators, should upgrade our language knowledge as the changes occur. We do not have to use them though.


  3. Posted by Tetiana on March 15, 2012 at 07:59

    Thanks a lot for new information. I consider this article is very useful for translators and interpreters. The thing is we are all influenced by globalization and English is everywhere. On the one hand, it’s great, but on the other hand, a number of foreign languages are deeply affected by English and nothing can be done.


  4. Posted by francesca caviglioni on March 15, 2012 at 17:07

    I think the use of language depends a lot on who you are writing for and with what objective.
    Amercanisms in a formal text for British speakers are not acceptable, largely because they may not be understood, but may be perfectly integrated into a publicitiy campaign or novel.
    The majority of new words that find their way into the English language and thereafter become acceptable in Britain come from the USA. This may be something to do with the fact that America is a melting pot for so many different nationalities which have an influence on the language. Language is an amazing thing; it never ceases to evolve.


  5. Posted by Ana Gil-Merino on March 15, 2012 at 17:30

    I really like your interesting articles. It’s true many people speak like that, however I’d like to believe that in Europe we are aware that it is not just American influence but also the fact that English is very widely spoken around the world not just as a first language but also as a second or a third and used in many other languages instead of being translated. It seems that “the latest English” is just the easy way.


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