I commence this chronicle after completing an online writing test for a role which I’m interested in. My fate now in the hands of the test assessor, god and the grim reaper…… Yes, the penalty for failure in this exam is pretty stark!
As I’d never undertaken an examination of my grammatical wherewithal, it was an interesting experience. I’d like to think it’s a topic which I’ve markedly improved upon over the years, so hopefully I aced it.
Similar to the US president’s achievement in his recent cognitive test, where he displayed astounding mental dexterity by recalling/repeating the words ‘Person, Man, Woman, TV, Camera’.
Although no expert on the topic, my literary odyssey has given me a great love of the English language. An amour which leads to sadness at witnessing its beauty watered down by contemporary use of text speak and street parlay.
Of course, changes in use of the English language aren’t a new development; its structure’s evolved throughout history. One only has to read an original Shakespeare play, or Dickensian tome to witness how, over the centuries, words come and go. Examples of which below:-
When Will wandered this vale of tears, “Ugh! come here and consume my hat you lazy fool.” would’ve been proffered as “fie! cometh h’re and englut mine own coxcomb thee distemperate daw.”
Consequently, if the adage “Well, I’ll eat my hat!” was around in Shakespearian times it would’ve been relayed as “W’ll, thou’ll englut mine own coxcomb!“
Also if you’d have wished to express “They could laugh although they were sad. In some forin or other we need fun.” in 17th century England you’d have informed peers “Those gents couldst chuckle although those gents w’re depress’d. In some f’rin ‘r oth’r we needeth excit’ment.”
While quilling his locutions, William Shakespeare may’ve been told “Pap’r is scarce, so writeth with much careth.” A warning which in contemporary times would translate as “Paper is scarce, so write with care.”
Although the romantic in me longs for my mother tongue to remain as I’d learned over half a century, I’m pragmatic enough to realise its evolution is inevitable.
In two or three hundred years time, 21st century street talk like “Da hog crawled under da high fence. Nah doubt about da way da wind blows.” will no doubt be incomprehensible to dwellers of this land, in the year 2320…… Actually, coming to think of it, I’ve not got a bloody clue what it means either!
As a consequence of contemporary Britain being a far more cosmopolitan island than anytime in its history, I guess the verve in which the English language evolves will become ever swifter. Influence of different races, creeds and colours also being a catalyst for changes within UK regional dialects and colloquialisms.
Although, I guess that’s always been the case. For our current immigrants, read the historical invasions to these islands from vikings, normans, saxons, romans et all. People who’ve shaped our language over thousands of years, bringing and influencing the words I’m utilising in this narrative.
The above something those with blinkered views on immigration should perhaps bear in mind. After all, we’re all descended from invaders of these Western European islands.
Whatever the rights and wrongs of immigration, even if it stopped completely the haters need to understand deportation of all immigrants won’t lead to them marrying the princess and living happy ever after….. They’d merely turn to another scapegoat, on which they can vent their existential discontent.
Anyhow, has’t a valorous day folks!