Monday, 21 February 2000
Language evolves, so the language expert say. Yet, they try to freeze the language in some of artificial intermediate state. I have never understood how a language can evolve when it is pinned down with all kinds of rules in thick books. Dictionaries for spelling rules, lists of irregular verbs, etceteras (www.gsu.edu/.../verbs.htm)

In November 1998 I wrote My first Nut. Has my language style changed since? I don't know. As far as I can tell it has not changed. Language does not evolve so quickly. The first changes will strike in a decade or so. After a hundred years the language is still recognisable, yet immediately strikes as hopelessly old-fashioned, difficult and cumbersome.

What will English look like in a hundred years or so? Probably even simpler, and faster too. Contemporary English is easier than it was a hundred years ago.

A few predictions:

  • Base + s will be the first to fall. Especially Asians have difficulties with the extra 's'. The concept is alien to the grammar of their own languages. In a hundred years or so nobody will know that the extra s ever existed.
  • The unnecessary tenses for time, plural, and so on will disappear. The distinction between 'this' and 'these' isn't really required, and neither is 'that' and 'those'.
  • Soft consonants such as the 'h' will fall off.
  • The odd differences between 's' and 'z' will faint.
  • Some slang words will penetrate Queens English.
English will continue to get easier to pronounce, and easier to write. It will get easier and easier for foreigners to learn the language, far easier than learning a complicated language such as Dutch (www.onzetaal/.../dutch.html).

English grammar will get easier, more like Asian languages. So, most likely English will mature towards the Asian pidgin style. So, whenever you get the giggles from hearing an Asian speak English, please remember: Their language is more advanced than ours.

Till next week!