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Abstract:

The purpose of this written text is to illustrate the causes and effects of the globalization
of language. The key ideas that will be discussed are the unifying idiolect, colloquialism due
to global communication, the cause and effect, and the global regression that occurs as a
result. The text will be in the form of an opinion column that takes a prescriptive approach
on the topic of globalization by taking the side that globalization has adverse effects on
language. In doing so, I will be attempting to persuade the reader that a prescriptive
approach to this topic is correct through the usage of semi-formal language. By semiformal, I will be using a cynical register through the usage of exaggeration with the
implementation of personal pronouns to give my opinion, while keeping the reader
entertained. This format has been exemplified by John Humphrys, in his article regarding
texting1.
The course topics that have been looked at so far are The History and Evolution of the
English Language, Texting and New Modes of Communication and How does Language Shape
our Identity. All three of these are included in the topic of language globalization, which is a
fancy word for the international exchange of language, primarily due to the advances in
telecommunications and social networking that have occurred within the recent past.
The reason for an opinion column as opposed to a newspaper article or a dissertation
paper for is to direct a response at David Crystals argument that recent developments in
the English Language are benign2. I will be arguing that the recent developments in the
English language are due to the globalization of the language and that this is, in fact,
malignant. While this is a response to Crystals descriptive argument, I am certainly not
sympathizing with Humphrys prescriptive approach given that I disagree with several of
the points that he makes. This will be further elaborated on in the written piece.

When asked what the scourge of the 21st century is, the common person would blurt terrorism,
capitalism or politicians. This is because these three are visible and targetable. However, as

1 http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-483511/I-h8-txt-msgs-How-texting-wrecking-language.html
2 http://www.theguardian.com/books/2008/jul/05/saturdayreviewsfeatres.guardianreview
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atrocious as they may be, theyre temporary and, quite frankly, extremely high profile. The real
menaces are the ones that your average Joe would take part in, without his, or her, own
knowledge. These menaces would leech off of society bit by bit, over decades, unnoticed by
people, till we are wearing loincloths, grunting and carrying clubs over our shoulders. The
globalization of languages is a conductor of this process. In order to elaborate further upon this
and what it will do to society, its necessary for me to explain the events that have led the human
race on the path to the abyss.
Globalization is a process that has existed for millennia due to the nature of humans, which is to
flock. By itself, globalization has no effect, as diversification occurs just as quickly. However, by
mid twentieth century, people began to make rapid advances in telecommunications. Innovators
were too wrapped up with whether or not they could that they didn't stop to think whether or not
they should. The advances in telecommunications resulted in the advent of the social networking
age. Social networking led to people being able to talk to strangers around the world at the click
of a button. Global communication allowed for Americans to have pen pals among the Asians,
half a world away. And through this communication, arose the todays vernacular, wherein lies the
issue.
The globalization of language doesnt mean that the influence of English is spread
around the world. It means that the boundaries between languages blur. As globalization
progresses, English would distort and an amalgamation of languages would emerge to swallow
what we consider modern culture. The irony in the previous statement is that English is already
an alloy of several languages, forged due to the diminishing boundaries between Anglisc,
Germanic and the Romance languages. As time progressed and the communication between
Asia and Europe increased, Sanskrit began to be included within the culture that was the English
language and words such as pajamas came into existence. Even stranger than the previous
irony, I would think, is that the resultant language after centuries of change could still be called
English.
I would believe that the English language was able to preserve itself due to the strength
of the concept of English, which in the entire second millennia, was defined and preserved, for
the most part, by elitists who tried to segregate themselves from foreign influence. They were
unable to completely protect their language as Britannia in the medieval era to the eighteenth
century was rampaging through the lands of those they considered barbaric. This forced
interaction caused a linguistic change in English, which absorbed pieces of vernacular from the
cultures that the Britons colonized. However, the conquered cultures were exposed to English as
much as English was exposed to them, resulting in linguistic asphyxiation, a prolonged decay
from the load of English influence.
History has an awkward way of repeating itself. With the age of social networking,
interaction between cultures has never been higher. Looking at the current state of things, English
has been altered to such a degree that the people who lived in eighteenth century Britain wouldnt
be able to understand it. Due to the globalization of language, more people are able to
communicate with each other through a form of pseudo-English colloquialism, heavily utilizing
jargon and argot. This promotes the usage of slang and abbreviations such as LOL, OMG and
the infamous WTF, while demoting grammar. Social networking was originally intended to be a
form of conversation through text, so its not a big surprise that people have incorporated the
previously mentioned texting conventions into speech.
A major issue with globalization is the linguistic regression that accompanies it. Alongside
the abbreviations that people use in conversation, cussing and swearing has also become a part
of idiolect in a major way. An extreme example of this would be my next-door neighbors kid,
whose comprehension of English is limited to swearing using words that start with the letter f.
Perhaps this is too extreme an example of the effects of globalization, but the big picture is that
through social networking and extra-cultural influence, English has been distorted and its
vulgarities have surfaced in the language used today. Shakespeare would be rolling in his grave if
he found out that a language that was once used for courting women and mourning death has,
now, a main purpose of being used to cuss excessively.
When a large number of people are born into globalization, pseudo-English becomes a
part of their idiolect regardless of their background or grasp of English. This is, again, an effect of
communication. People tend to follow the herd, as described by Friedrich Nietzsche, meaning

that when the people who veer towards the dark side of English, an outstanding majority, interact
with those who dont, the minority start to incorporate abbreviations and argot in their language,
and thus re-establishing vernacular, diluting the base language. This could be considered
regression, at least, in my opinion, if it is taken into account that people who use the developing
English can be considered Neanderthals next to those that had used a previous form. The
essence of language is communication, however, with the developing vernacular, this is made
increasingly difficult. A trend in speech is to say LOL (laugh out loud) once every two sentences.
The irony is that people say it out loud instead of laughing, taking more time and effort than is
required, and that people say it without having the urge to laugh. If this isnt considered a
regression in communication, what is?
Those who take a liberal side, or descriptive approach towards the effect of globalization
of English arent wrong, because, on the current path people may not be speaking English
anymore. The effect of globalization on language is displayed by English, which absorbed several
other languages in order to get to where it is now. With the exception of linguists, the absorbed
languages, Proto-Germanic for example, are forgotten by humanity. However, the only reason
that English was able to absorb other languages was because Britannia was the strongest culture
of the era in terms of influence, trade and military might. Currently, the culture with the most
influence and control of trade is China. As of the present, there are three times as many native
Mandarin speakers than English speakers, outlining the clear difference in strength between the
two cultures. Globalization means that the walls between cultures are brought down. With this in
mind, it is possible that Mandarin will absorb the English language eventually.
I am proud to say that I havent succumbed to the effects of pseudo-English, possibly due
to my introverted habits as a shut-in. Occasionally though, I find myself under the influence of txt
language, which shows its influence on our daily lives without our knowledge.