Friday, March 12, 2010

Mrch Mdnss: Hyphaeresis

"Kids these days! Text messaging all the time and using crazy invented spelllings. What is the world coming to?"

Have you had similar thoughts or overheard comments such as these? Well, guess what? There truly is nothing new under the sun! Kids have been using hyphaeresis for a long, long time.

hyphaeresis (noun):  the omission of sounds, syllables or letters from words.

In the 1830's, American teenagers and college students deliberately misspelled and abbreviated words, changing the English language to "make it their own". Some examples were published in the March 23, 1839 (that's right...1839) edition of the Boston Morning Post:

NS: 'nuf said
OW: oll wright
OK: oll korrect (for more information, click here!)

Remember: language is never static. We use new forms of words, written and oral, to express ourselves, to feel part of a group, to start trends. It was that way in March 1839 and now, in March 2010, we're still at it! OMG!

Thx 4 readn,

1 comment:

  1. Mary Hufford (GEMS)3/20/10, 10:39 AM

    LOL... Tanny, thanks for this. Language must change to keep up with the rapid changes in society, medicine, and technology. Besides, it is so much fun to watch people get worked up about how teens are corrupting English. It's been corrupt for a long time ;)

    My linguistics prof at UC never bemoaned the changes in language. He explained that when a language doesn't change, it dies. So, the evolution of English is a good thing -- I don't know about you, but I don't know any native speakers of Latin