Yes, much has changed over the years. That’s why so many of us find it challenging (and sometimes impossible) to read yesteryear’s unedited works of Shakespeare, Chaucer, &c. We just don’t talk like that. Perhaps a hundred or even a thousand years from now, society will feel the same way when they look back on us. And with toddlers toting iPods at an age when they should be making up their own songs, they might look back on lyrics like “Have a baby by me, baby…be a millionaire” as our creative peak.
What concerns me about the unabashed abuse of language texts and tweets unleash is that this evolution is not quite what we’ve experienced so far. This seems to be more about busy lives and attention spans at an all-time low making abbreviation the way to go. Even though we can spell just fine, we opt for shortcuts (and make-believe words like “tradigital” or “masstige”) to get the message across because we don’t have the time or inclination to care.
Unfortunately, all that does is dilute the power of language to convey the nuances it’s designed to. We’re moving dangerously close to the Orwellian world of doublespeak, so much so that we’ll soon be unable to express all the things we’d like because the only phrase that comes to mind is “ROFLMAO” or “kewl”. Next, it’ll be back to clicks and grunts.
Do you hear that? I think another dictionary just lost its wings. Epic fail.