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Essay about The Internet and the Future of Language

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Throughout the history of civilization, a new medium of linguistic communication has always brought significant changes in our way of communication as well. Such media are printing in the fifteen century, telegraph and telephone in the nineteen century, and finally television and the internet in the twentieth century. However, the sheer scale and the significance of the Internet have in sociolinguistic and stylistic complexity of the language is unprecedented and comparable to that of conventional audio and visual quality of linguistic aspects.
Unlike previous communication media, the internet is global, interactive and electronic. Such characteristics of the media have different influences in linguistic development. Moreover, the internet also redefines the relationship between the written and spoken aspects of language, according to Dr David Crystal, the internet language is called ‘written speech’ or ‘spoken writing’. In spoken language, there are two main differences between the internet language (aka Netspeak) and face-to-face conversation: firstly, in electronic situations of conversation there is a lack of simultaneous feedback and secondly, the rhythm of the interaction in electronic situations of conversation is slower than in conversational speech situations. Furthermore, in written language, while traditional writing is static and permanent, the internet writing can be revised and restructured if necessary. Nevertheless the fact that the Netspeak displays the graphic and visual aspects, it is safe to say that the Netspeak has both speech and writing properties (Crystal 47).
In sociolinguistic aspect, the Internet has created so-called a virtual community. It is true that the Internet is wired worldwide and at glance com...


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...oned above, the Internet is not a mere technological revolution but also socio-historical revolutions. The characteristics of the Internet activity lies in interactivity among users with the use of language, mainly English, which brought the world community closer together than ever. Now for a considerable time English has been spoken by overwhelmingly more non-native-speakers, and some of English they use are distinctive varieties of non-Standard English. At this point, it is difficult to forecast the grammatical changes that non-standard English could cause to Standard English in the future, the influence of non-native-speakers to English seems inevitable in spite of persistent resistance of native-speakers against deep structural changes.



Works Cited

Crystal, David. Language and the internet. 1st Edition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001. Print.


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