The English Language

This month the subject of discussion was the English language: New words in the Oxford English Dictionary – do we use them, what do they mean, where do they originate, how has FaceBook, Instagram etc influenced the choice of language today, what expressions/words do you use today that you wouldn’t have heard of years ago, is our language evolving in a good way?

As usual, the topic of conversation often veered off on a tangent and we all had a jolly evening, whilst making sure that we covered the main topic of the night thoroughly too.

All agreed that the English language is constantly evolving. What do you say when you coincidentally say the same thing as another person? Do you say snap, ditto or jinx?

We discussed how new words have come into existence and the confusion between generations when words change their meaning. It hasn’t just happened in modern times, awful used to mean ‘inspiring awe’.

American words are filtering into the language due to the influence of American films and TV. Technology is having an impact, producing new words to describe it and introducing ‘text speak’. Words are combined to make new ones, such as ‘Brexit’.

London English, which is mostly spoken by young people in multicultural parts of London, is being spoken more widely outside of London than ever before. This mirrors the impact of London in the later middle ages when, due to its role as the centre of government, culture and commerce, it’s dialect became the standard form of English.

Finally, we heard some new words, with ‘blursday’ being a clear favourite. It refers to when you can’t remember what day of the week it is…