“English 3.0”, a 20-minute video by documentary film-maker Joe Gilbert, “explores how the internet has influenced the way we communicate today and whether the changes witnessed have had a positive effect on the language”. It features interviews with Tom Chatfield (author and cultural commentator), David Crystal (author and linguist), Robert McCrum (associate editor of The Observer), Fiona McPherson (lexicographer) and Prof. Simon Horobin (author and academic).

Take a look and let us know what you think: has the Internet been good or bad for English? Do “ROFL”, “C U L8R”, “amazeballs” (no doubt out of fashion by now…) and all the rest mean that the language is in terminal decline?

Other posts you might like:

Apostrophes: everything you ever wanted to know, just about.

Nouning and verbing: an ask too far?

Life’s a beach? Great! But please, not on LinkedIn…

By Marian Dougan


2 Responses to “The Internet. The end of English as we know it?”  

  1. 1 Nélida Kreer (@Nelida_Kreer)

    Hello Marian,

    Nice post, thanks for sharing. I think that there are different “registers” in language, always have been, and Internet has been made a sort of bogey-man, unnecessarily. Formal writing and formal language will remain as they are and changing along with technology (new words will be needed to describe landing on a comet, for example). Texting, abbreviating, tweeting, are a special lingo or jargon and in my opinion, will not affect the language, which (the language) will however keep evolving – an unstoppable process….

    Best regards, and have a nice weekend.

  2. 2 MarianD

    Thanks, as always, for your thoughtful comment, Nélida. I agree – I don’t think texting and the Internet are having a negative effect on language. They’re introducing changes and providing lots more scope for informal writing, and I don’t think that’s a bad thing at all.

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