In this essay, I will be discussing my response to Isabelle Kerr’s article about the use of slang in modern English. This is a letter to the editor of the newspaper in which this article was printed on.
I agree with what Belinda Webb’s article says about the beauty of new words but while Isabelle Kerr, on the other hand, has made me change my mind to disagreeing with what her article says and what I once thought. I’m all for finding new ways of communicating between each other because it helps us to understand one another better and possibly break a barrier that has caused so much conflict and disagreements over long periods of time. I believe that if we come up with new words and find shorter ways of saying words that already exist, it could help to enrich the English language and make it better. It hasn’t stayed the same over the years and never will stay the same, for example, who says thou, art or thee any more? We’ve adapted to make communication easier and I think that it is very important and is something that we should constantly be doing, improving the way we use our language to interact with one another I do however question some new words that are being come up with like bruv, innit, fam, outhchea…. Words like these, I admit, can create a bad impression of how our youth is “enriching” the English language to some people because they sometimes sound like accidental noises. I have no idea what that last word means but I hear it all the time. Now that says something. Some of the new words right now are exclusive to certain groups of people just like, I imagine, it was for Shakespeare or anything new in life. Nothing is just born into a universal state. “Great things come from small beginnings”. Some of these words may be unknown to many of us right now but in the future will be used by everyone. These words are completely new and I support their intentions of making an exclusive way of communicating. “We are afraid of what we don’t know” I believe this applies strongly to slang in all parts of the world, people who don’t know what certain words mean are scared to let them into the language but there is no such thing as a wrong word, all words have the intention of helping people express themselves better and have access to more things if they are used correctly.
I’ve had many conversations with elderly people about what they think of the way young people speak now and some have said that it worries them that the English language will just turn into a jumble of accidental sounds and will lose it’s spark. However, there was this one old man that I remember said he didn’t worry about what the English language will become because that was exactly what was happening during his time, the youth were changing words and coming up with new ways of expressing themselves and it will carry on happening, it is something that no one can control or dictate, language will always adapt to its time and will be changed by the people who use it.
Shakespeare was a very famous inventor of slang in his time and his words have become some of our richest words today (e.g. assassination, equivocal, majestic). So what stops our new words from becoming our next generation’s richest words? Nothing. I believe that we as the youth of today have the responsibility and the task of paving what tomorrow’s English language will be. We need to be careful with the words we invent and the short cuts we take to make it easier to communicate because it will be what our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren will be speaking and even they will be inventing new words for the English language each generation on just as our parents, grandparents, great grandparents and ancestors before us have done themselves.
The English language is not something to just play around with, it’s a form of art and passion for some. It is the thing that connects us and allows us to evolve. Imagine being in a country that you don’t know the language of. You’re pretty much alone unless you’re lucky enough to find a translator. That is what would happen if people are not willing to adapt the English language. We need to find ways of communicating better and building stronger bonds.
I believe Isabelle Kerr has made many contradicting and unclear points to back her argument and she hasn’t got a true understanding of why the English language is what it is today. It is the result of many genius minds that have worked together to make communication better for our generation. Kerr hasn’t managed to grasp how beautiful the act of inventing new words is. It’s not just an act, I believe it’s a form of art that will carry on for many more years and will have a huge impact on our future generations. Those are the reasons why I disagree with the very naive and blind article that Isabelle Kerr has written which has been published on this newspaper.