and all of those other homophones. Homonyms are even worse! Bear is an animal and also a verb? Mine is a possessive pronoun and an explosive weapon? But the real problem, I believe, comes from the way we spell our words and the way we pronounce our words.
Just look at the way I started this post? Someone might know "you" and "know", but not "y'know." And many people don't spell words correctly (see the list above) which just adds to the confusion. If I see one more person comment on Facebook say "Your awesome" or "Their is this awesome movie out!" then I'm gonna loose it! I'll be honest, I'm not perfect. I'll write "gonna" and "kinda" and "sorta". I'm part of the problem. The biggest issue is that even people who are aware are still guilty! But seriously, what is the world coming to if we misspell things so frequently that our cell phones correct us?
This is just as bad, if not worse. Gonna, kinda, and sorta are the least of our worries. Our speaking is getting increasingly more lazy. Scientists have discovered (nope) that in fifteen years people's mouths will be used 40% less efficiently than people from our parents' generation. That's not surprising considering how our speech is getting already. Here's an example that I like to use to illustrate the steady decay of language. (It helps if you read it out loud.)
- Do you know what I am saying?
- Do you know what I'm saying?
- Do you know what I'm sayin'?
- D'you know what I'm sayin'?
- D'y'know what I'm sayin'?
- Y'know what I'm sayin'?
- Know what I'm sayin'?
- Knowhat I'm sayin'?
- Know I'm sayin'?
- Kno'm sayin'?
At this point it barely resembles what it used to be and it takes its final step:
- Nom sane?
What was once a seven word sentence has been reduced to something entirely different. It's easy to see why someone learning English would have a hard time understanding this sentence. And this isn't the only offender. Why, the response to the above question has become just as bad. I'll skip the steps and just show the before and after.
- Yes, I know what you are saying.
- I nar sane.
Our language came a long way, but it is quickly becoming more and more what it was when it began: grunts.
Here is a graph:
|Click to see full size|
Until next time,