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The new language
Old 02-21-2017, 08:48 AM   #1
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The new language

"PMI Increases"... the headline. A quick read of the two page article lent no further information as to what this would mean to me, although it was very, very important to many others.

In the army, I learned some basic Esperanto, but it has ill prepared me to cope with our new language.

Take a quick look at just one of the ways our intrapersonal communications has changed... for the most part, just in the past 20 years.

50 Popular Texting Abbreviations & Internet Acronyms — Explained

This represents only a tiny part of the change that is challenging us as octogenarians.

Not only abbrviations, but the seemingly endless number of acronyms.

Abbreviations and acronyms dictionary

All of this in addition to the nearly 500,000 words in the Webster Dictionary... to which nearly 2000 words are added each year.

Now... add to this basic list of the means that we communicate with others who speak the same (sic) language... the alternate languages and keywords that some of us have learned in school or through work, and it presents a formidable tower of Babel:
Quote:
(Genesis 11:1-11) a tower built by Noah's descendants (probably in Babylon) who intended it to reach up to heaven; God foiled them by confusing their language so they could no longer understand one another
Even more interesting, consider what is going on in the learning process of a child, an immigrant, or a mentally challenged person.

As a rule, we absorb, learn, and adapt to the changes, but the growing insouciance of those who provide news. instruction, and basic information of all kinds, may well be responsible for a degree of fragmentation in our ever more complicated society.

Just an old man rant.
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Old 02-21-2017, 09:22 AM   #2
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Although I realize you are speaking about a wider concern, I am taking the liberty to post what I believe your headline "PMI Increase" article was referring to.......

Purchasing Managers' Indexes (PMI) are economic indicators derived from monthly surveys of private sector companies. The data for the index are collected through a survey of 400 purchasing managers in the manufacturing sector on seven different fields, namely, production level, new orders from customers, speed of supplier deliveries, inventories, order backlogs and employment level.

Here is a link to the Wiki........
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purcha...agers%27_Index

and a link to the Investopedia description of PMI........
Economic Indicators: Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) | Investopedia
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Old 02-21-2017, 10:39 AM   #3
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Language is constantly evolving. Spoken language changes more quickly than written language, so there is an argument to be made that English changed more quickly in the distant past when there were fewer literate speakers/writers than there are now. Writing puts rules and constraints on language that are not strictly enforced in speaking.

For anyone with a passing interest in language and how we got where we are, I recommend a podcast called "Lexicon Valley". Every couple of weeks there is a new episode discussing the origin of a word or phrase.
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Old 02-22-2017, 06:10 AM   #4
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Taking language one step further, many posters on different media sites (e.g. Facebook), have totally given up on language and now speak only in emojicons.
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Old 02-22-2017, 06:28 AM   #5
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Taking language one step further, many posters on different media sites (e.g. Facebook), have totally given up on language and now speak only in emojicons.
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Old 02-22-2017, 06:51 AM   #6
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I bet someday they'll find scrolls from ancient Egypt and the like of people complaining they can't understand this newfangled slang of the younger generation.

It's interesting not only the changes in speech, but the barriers that words that prevent easy access to so many industries. You need a dictionary of meanings that are local to just about any job.

In the broadest stroke, I think these evolutions and specialised technical vocabularies very much are ways of saying it's us versus them.
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Old 02-22-2017, 08:46 AM   #7
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Go back 300 years to the early Colonial period and we find the language understandable but very stilted and often unnatural sounding.

Another 100 years to Shakespeare and the language is still generally understandable but we frequently need help with it.

Another 200 years to Chaucer and it's quite difficult to understand for most of us.

Another 400 years to Beowulf and it's completely unintelligible to nearly all of us.

But they are all English.
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Old 02-22-2017, 08:50 AM   #8
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It's partly us vs. them - e.g. how people qualify each other fast.

Yet also:
  • Precision matters. So new terms are invented when the old ones are not precise enough (cancer isn't one disease, for example)
  • People are lazy: typing out long terms gets tedious fast. Exhibit one: US(A) vs. The United States of America.
  • Cultural norms: some terms become associated with certain attitudes no longer acceptable, or deemed taboo. Tuberculosis is a famous example. It became TBC, then TB, the just T. Now it's back to the full term I think.
  • Attempts to change perception: Problems are something you think about, challenges call to action a bit more. If you present a problems to a mega-corp manager, you get shot down. If you want to discuss challenges with an academic, he will look at you funny (at best).
What has changed the past few years is that one is assumed to be constantly tuned in and up to date with whatever turns our world is taking.


If you turn off the news for a day or even hours sometimes, suddenly you get a non-sense title without context because the original story broke hours before, and the reporter just assumes you know.


E.g. "Becky released after search fizzles". With no mention of who (or what?) Becky is, what she was released from, never mind the search etc ..


I guess what I believe is disappearing nowawdays is the 'slow-news' cycle. One has wikipedia for background and twitter for - well, twitter - yet what's in between is disappearing.



The Economist for me is a remarkable exception filling in that gap. Even world famous companies get a short interlude explaining what they are before the text continues.
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Old 02-22-2017, 08:51 AM   #9
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Another 400 years to Beowulf and it's completely unintelligible to nearly all of us.
I do wonder: is the "change speed" going faster or slower? Any insights?
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Old 02-22-2017, 09:14 AM   #10
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I do wonder: is the "change speed" going faster or slower? Any insights?
Absolutely slower. Mass communication makes a language substantially the same throughout its region(s) these days. Centuries ago that wasn't the case.

There's a famous story about William Caxton, the first English publisher in the 15th century. He was from London, and got shipwrecked off the Kent coast (pretty close to London). Fortunately, he was able to get to shore and approached a cottage hoping for something to eat. Even that close to home he was utterly unable to communicate with the lady of the house.
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Old 02-22-2017, 10:02 AM   #11
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Go back 300 years to the early Colonial period and we find the language understandable but very stilted and often unnatural sounding.

Another 100 years to Shakespeare and the language is still generally understandable but we frequently need help with it.

Another 200 years to Chaucer and it's quite difficult to understand for most of us.

Another 400 years to Beowulf and it's completely unintelligible to nearly all of us.

But they are all English.
They're broken into modern English, middle English (Chaucer), & old English (Beo) for a reason - or many reasons. Particularly old English isn't close to even Shake. Great Vowel Shift makes Chaucer so tough.
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Old 02-22-2017, 10:04 AM   #12
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Absolutely slower. Mass communication makes a language substantially the same throughout its region(s) these days. Centuries ago that wasn't the case.
I think that's true from the pronunciation side. From the creation of new words & meanings of current ones, I think it's faster.
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Old 02-22-2017, 10:05 AM   #13
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Although English may be an 'evolving language," while people are helping it to evolve, they aren't speaking correctly.

Actually, ya know, Dude, fer sure,
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Old 02-22-2017, 10:11 AM   #14
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I think that's true form the pronounciation side. From the creation of new words & meanings of current ones, I think it's faster.
You may be right.
But well over 1,000 of common English words first appeared in Shakespeare, and he probably coined many of them himself.

Words Shakespeare Invented
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Old 02-22-2017, 10:14 AM   #15
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As a rule, we absorb, learn, and adapt to the changes, but the growing insouciance of those who provide news. instruction, and basic information of all kinds, may well be responsible for a degree of fragmentation in our ever more complicated society.

Just an old man rant.
The irony of the last comment. I suspect your generation was viewed as "insouciant" 50 years ago.

Have things really changed, or does it just come with the generational territory? Somehow I suspect every older generation has had similar thoughts about their (much) younger contemporaries. As we all age, and reach old age for our first time, we think we're the first to feel the world has begun to spin too fast...
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Old 02-22-2017, 03:41 PM   #16
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It's partly us vs. them - e.g. how people qualify each other fast.

<SNIP>
I had a family friend who was (IIRC) originally diagnosed as an imbecile. And IIRC the diagnosis was eventually changed to "profoundly retarded" and then to IIRC one of the "challenged" words (forget the exact term.) In any case, such words seem to rapidly join the long list of pejoratives folks unaffected by such conditions throw around without much concern for the damage they may cause. Such descriptive words have relatively short half-lives. YMMV
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Old 02-23-2017, 06:16 AM   #17
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The irony of the last comment. I suspect your generation was viewed as "insouciant" 50 years ago.

Have things really changed, or does it just come with the generational territory? Somehow I suspect every older generation has had similar thoughts about their (much) younger contemporaries. As we all age, and reach old age for our first time, we think we're the first to feel the world has begun to spin too fast...
True, but I really wonder if its the case with regard to the courtesy and respect we show one another, let alone our government.
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Old 02-23-2017, 06:23 AM   #18
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Old 02-23-2017, 06:47 AM   #19
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The irony of the last comment. I suspect your generation was viewed as "insouciant" 50 years ago.

Have things really changed, or does it just come with the generational territory? Somehow I suspect every older generation has had similar thoughts about their (much) younger contemporaries. As we all age, and reach old age for our first time, we think we're the first to feel the world has begun to spin too fast...
Sad but true.
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