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History of English: The media and English.

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History of English: The media and English. In spite of the popular notion that the media are 'ruining English', this is not the case. Media effects on language are short term. INTRODUCTION There are various ways of studying language: a linear route which covers historical development through time, known as diachronic, and a synchronic route which aims to study the complexities involved in how languages actually work (Shetter, 2002, Page 1). This synchronic route can be studied in two ways: written language and language that is relayed in the form of speech, known as phonology, the latter being one area affected during language change. Orthography also alters over time and there is also a pronounced effect on lexis, semantics, and orthography. Evolving language has its roots in various factors, notwithstanding both internal and external history (Leith, 1996). Linguistics, grammar and vocabulary are directly attributable to the effects of internal history whilst it could be possible to ascribe the socio-linguistic aspects of language to the external exigencies of history. It is important to note that English was not a unified language initially, but the result of the Germanic influence from various Teutonic dialects. The original language spoken on the British Islands was Brittonic and there are differing opinions as to whether Brittonic became incorporated into the Anglo-Saxon language or not (Collingwood and Myers, 1936, Page 318) with research continuing to be divided as to the reason for this. The language spoken by the indigenous Britons at the time the Anglo-Saxons first arrived in Britain was a form of Celtic, known as Brittonic. ...read more.


176). Simon Jenkins, previously editor to 'The Times' (London) is not a follower of what he considers useless paraphernalia. He refers to the precision of the Classical languages which 'require little punctuation', giving, as his example, the American Constitution as beautifully structured and controlled (Davis, The Times, 2004), despite the fact that the American Constitution was modelled on the language of the Legal Jurists of 18th Century Britain, and the Greeks epitomised the comma: even the Greeks needed to breathe when reading: Lastly, to deal with a very unimportant point, I observe that the Leipsic Teubner edition of 894 makes Books ii. and iii. end with a comma (The Odyssey by Homer, http://www.classicauthors.net/Homer/odyssey/) Contemporary English The growth of the middle classes and public school education became the driver for the growth in Received Pronunciation , whilst colonisation and foreign travel imposed the English language onto new cultures, with many of those colonised languages becoming integrated into the English language, often resulting in British English and American English becoming intermingled by the media, and computer vocabulary and text-messaging increasing everyday vocabulary with words such as WISIWYG and mouse, internet and monitor, and changes in spelling such as TXT U L8TER. Strong feelings are invoked when discussing the use, or values, of teaching anything other than contemporary literature, written in the vernacular (Gilbert, 2001) and the teaching of English grammar is even more emotive (Hirsch, 2001). The Mobile Data Association claims that text messaging ('The gr8 txt msg boom', Daily Mail, 2005: 25) ...read more.


We live in an information-rich world and today, the media is responsible for much that is taught in schools. English studies can resort to all of these media to inspire learning besides the rich tapestry of stories, poetry and non-fiction and exploring the cultural diversity of drama and research into works by contemporary writers of different traditions and cultures. With the focus on English in a global context, teachers are free to include grammar and literature whilst also reaffirming the value of English studies. The emphasis today is so much on the spread and usage of the English language that immense value has been placed upon the teaching of it world-wide and, of necessity, this can only be achieved through strategic use of all forms of media. Diversity of media is now utilised as a fundamental teaching aid, not only in the rudiments of English within the National Curriculum, but as an essential requirement to within the global marketplace. This is reflected within education, and is also replicated within the context of a world-wide employment market (Seltzer, 1999) covering scientific, technical and business spheres, together with employment within the IT sectors, higher education and even encompassing air traffic control, law and the movement of commodities between trading nations. Through the dissemination of information the value of English has truly become a reflection of the global economy, with usage deeply and possibly, irretrievably, entrenched within the greatest markets and powers of the world, utilising the diversity of media sources around the world to maximum effect. ...read more.

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