Writing, of course, is a crucial element of communication. It is our go-to for information, entertainment, relaxation and brushing up on our skills. For these reasons, and an abundant more, you would think that both speaking and writing through history, would go hand in hand.
This is not the case.
Surprisingly, the introduction of writing is estimated to have taken place far later than speech. Think of it this way, if speaking were to be measured as one day over history, then writing only popped in at around 11:07pm. Phoar.
When you truly begin delving into the nuances of written language, you may notice that spoken language has always strayed in style from that of written language. Old english tongue that appeared in films and on television seems out of the ordinary – simply for the fact that scripts were written and translated to spoken word. This didn’t necessarily reflect how people of the time spoke in everyday life, a common misconception.
The incredible thing about language development is that it has not ever fully showcased a true replica of spoken word through writing. How could you ever type while someone spoke and capture their essence? Manual typewriters took too long, then the automatic, and then the keyboard… And yes, of course short hand could be used but how accurate would those quick scribbles be?
Now comes the introduction of the phone. The text. The private message. For the first time in language’s history, we are able to write the way we speak. And in real time, have someone write the way they speak in return. There’s no need for lengthy letter styled responses, simply conversations that would otherwise happen in real life. Isn’t that phenomenal?
Along with this, further language development has taken place. Recognisable acronyms have come into play to enable communication to take place even quicker… At risk of sounding like a dad trying to keep up with the kids, here are a few, BRB, NM, SNS and OMG. And while some in the literary world may see this as a disintegration of language, we are of the belief that faster, more realistic language now allows a more genuine transaction of text.
And as for the general population’s slipping grammatical and spelling skills, yes, features such as auto correct and spell check do enable our written text to be quickly fixed. This means that computer and phone users are probably less likely to take the time to learn correct spelling and grammar practices. However, this is not a new craze. Complaints of terrible spelling date back as far as the 1800s.
But language is now changing once more. Emojis enable transactions of text to be converted into an easily recognisable image depicting an emotion, an object or an action. In this respect, has language travelled full circle and returned to the styling of ancient hieroglyphics?
You have got to wonder what will come next in everyday language… What are your predictions for language 100 years from now?