Whatever Happened to…..The English Language

You Can't Like, Speak EnglishWhen did the preferred language of the US change?  Moreover, when did people decide that it was okay to butcher it like a side of beef?  With all of the text speak and “press 1 for English” going on these days how is it that we, as even semi-educated beings, allow the utter raping of the language and never even really bat an eye? 

Now, I will tell you that I believe that humans are a comical creation to say the least and I do not believe that any one race, gender or sexual preference, for that matter, is better than any other.  I think that we have screw ups in every walk of life and also feel that you should be able to take a jab, laugh about yourself and roll with it.  That being said, I have no problems with you using your native tongue or form of lingo in your own setting or communication exchange, the problem I have is when you try to impose on me how I can or should communicate based on what you feel is right or have chosen to.

Leads me to ask the question.  Whatever Happened to…..The English Language?

The last time I checked we live in the United States.  I know this is considered the greatest country in the world (or at least it was), and that it is a great melting pot of different peoples.  If I were to go to another country to live and work I would be expected to learn the language in order to be a productive member of society, wouldn’t I?  I mean if I go to Mexico (or anywhere else) and make a phone call, is there a prompt that asks if I wish to continue that call in English?  I think not.  I need to take it upon myself to learn the language and fit in.  There are no special concessions.  Like I said before, I have no problem with people choosing to use their native language in their own setting or communication exchange.  If you grew up with that and are accustomed to speaking a particular language then by all means use it when you are with your family or around those who understand it.

I don’t want to just attack those of different nationalities, I want to spread this around so don’t just read that first part and freak out.  I think that English is being treated like a salad bar anymore, take and use what you want and if you do not want to leave it behind.  I am sorry, but my senior English teacher, Mrs. Bond must be freaking out.  We are an ever evolving people, that is understood, and as such need to adapt to what is going on around us.  We also need to recognize that all things have a time and a place.  That includes dialect. 

Take for instance text speak.  Nothing drives me nuts faster than when people use it in everyday conversation.  The lol’s, lmao, rofl, brb, and others that keep me guessing on what exactly is being said.  When I was a youth leader I was talking to a group of young people and suddenly one of the girls actually said, “LOL!”  I had to stop and think to myself, “Did I just hear that?”  I said to the girl, “You know were are right here, if you want to “laugh out loud” you can, we are here and will hear it.”  Save that stuff for on-line IM’s and phone texting.

It does not stop there, I know that we as a people are influenced by lots of cultures these days and that language spills over as part of that culture, be it country culture, urban culture, suburban culture, etc.  I just don’t understand why it is so accepted to take those influences and twist them into the English language.  As long as there has been spoken word there has been slang.  Slang is one thing, but to label a dialect as a language to me is absurd. We have people out there that have trouble with what is supposed to be the preferred language of the country. 

Slow down learn one, then move on.  Better yet, learn English and use it properly. 


About the author:  Ernie Osborn is just a regular joe that sees life around him a little differently.  He is a former youth leader that believes that life should be lived to the fullest.  His views and opinions may or may not reflect those of Tulsa Today.  Ernie serves as Concert Editor for Tulsa Today.  (In other words, if his writing strikes you and makes you think, great, or if it just makes you laugh and scratch your head that is fine too)