It is said that language is culture, that our language is a critical component of the culture of a group, tribe, state of nation.
What are we doing to our language?
I agree. But it leaves me to wonder, what does the language of Australians say about our culture and nation?
Sometimes, I'm left scratching my head in frustration at how our language is being corrupted.
Consider these examples of mispronunciation:
In all three cases, the alternative pronunciation is common, but wrong -- although some may argue they are simply regional variations.
Even if that is so, what about these mispronunciations?
Not only are these errors of pronunciation, but they are common.
Then there are the misused words, such as:
These are all too common and reflect ignorance.
What about these absurd phrases?
These are also common, even among journalists, who should know better.
Then there are abuses of contemporary language, such as:
These non-words are uttered with ubiquity. They reflect pig ignorance.
Finally, there are the Americanisms, such as:
These are also common and likely reflect the influence of US television and movies.
The Federal Government recently suggested introducing a harsher English language test for immigrants. Yet I've heard all of these abominations used by second, third and fourth-generation Australians.
What is wrong with us? What are we doing to our language and culture?
In response to complaints about these speech habits, it is common for people to argue that language evolves. Language does, and must, evolve.
There was once no word for a ‘computer, because there was no such thing. But none of the examples above are about language evolving. They are all examples of laziness and ignorance.