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How is the language of young Australians changing to reflect our evolving identity as a nation?

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Introduction

ENGLISH LANGUAGE: ESSAY MAX LI HOW IS THE LANGUAGE OF YOUNG AUSTRALIANS CHANGING TO REFLECT OUR EVOLVING IDENTITY AS A NATION? The language of young Australians is changing rapidly to reflect the evolving Australian national identity. It is being influenced by American culture (through its pervasive media) and altered by technological communication; its expressions lost and gained and the changing perception of taboo words and political correctness all attribute to show the way that the language of young Australians is evolving to fabricate our national identity. American culture is increasingly affecting the way young Australians use language. The dominance of the US entertainment industry, be it film, television, music or media, the ubiquity of the American culture has seen the creeping-in of the American accent and dialects into Australian English. From the wide array of Americanisms to the myriad of pronunciation and spelling disparities, these American influences have greatly affected the language of Australian youths in almost all the subsystems of language; it is a good reflection on how much the American culture has infiltrated and influenced Australian national identity. One area that American English has started to increasingly change in the language of young Australians is pronunciation and accent. Many Australians are now sometimes at a loss as to knowing the correct pronunciations of certain words, with examples like 'Address' and 'Address', Territory and "Terri-tree", "Labratory" and 'Labora-tree', and 'Libary' and "Libe-ree". ...read more.

Middle

and changed syntax. This has all contributed to the slow linguistic evolution being experienced by young Australians. Many new terms now commonly used by young Australians originate from the Internet or other technological sources and the popularity and closer integration into the modern Australian lifestyle has seen many youths adopt the language of the Internet and the shorthand used in SMS messages in everyday life. This can include the omni-present 'lol', 'omg', 'ttyl' and 'asl' acronyms of instant messaging (some of which have made their way into conversation-language) or the 'm8' for mate, 'l8a' for later and 'b4' for before used commonly by young Australians in TXT messages. The syntax of these new variations in communication has also changed. Due to the fast-paced world of the Internet, whether it be informal e-mailing, instant messaging, forum-posting or blogging - speed is crucial. Thus, many details in grammar are thrown out the door - with the abusive use of the apostrophe (though more often absence), the concerning lack of colons, semicolons and dashes (even hyphens), Australian youths are seemingly able to use to syntactically-opposing languages at the same time. It is quite apparent that, as the world of technology undergoes change, young Australians will help their language evolve to reflect our national identity. ...read more.

Conclusion

"In 2006, the Political Correctness movement continued to gain momentum to the effect that many were unaware of the extent that it had inserted itself into ordinary English-language conversations," says Paul JJ Payack, President of The Global Language Monitor. Thus, instead of 'short', one should say 'vertically challenged'; and 'fat', 'generously proportioned'. So, in a time where it is only correct to say 'marker board' (and not 'white-' or 'blackboard'), Australian youths are having their language changed deliberately; but it is a good indication for the way our national identity is changing. It is quite apparent that the language of young Australians has changed in many ways to reflect our identity as a nation. The influences of American culture and Americanisms, brought on by their media, have modified several subsystems of Australian English among youths. Lexical and syntactic elements introduced and altered by technological means of communication (chiefly led by the Internet) has also changed how young Australians converse through technological media. Also, the shift in the usage of Australian expressions has also brought about a new sense character and the changed perception of taboo and profane words has helped to evolve national identity further. Finally, with the expansion of the Political Correctness movement, the vocabulary of many young Australians are being altered to help change the national image and minimise prejudice, a very clear reflection on our evolving national identity. ...read more.

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