Feeds

English safe despite Web

Destruction of language 'not remotely likely'

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

A leading linguist insisted today that that the destruction of the English language by perceived abuses on the World Wide Web was "not remotely likely".

Speaking at the Royal Society of Arts in London, Dr David Crystal chose rather to highlight ways in which the Web "is giving a creative range to the language", while conceding that it is having "an impact on languages quite unlike any previous technology".

One example of this impact is the instant dissemination of new words: "A new word coming in in the morning can be on everyone's screen in the evening," Dr Crystal noted, adding that such possibilites were "fostering language change in a way that was not possible before."

Although seemingly spared the cruel fate of death at the hands of geeks and chat room devotees, Dr Crystal stated that although English currently accounts for around 70 per cent of Web content, this would fall as speakers of other languages acquired Web technology and expertise.

One positive result of this trend would be the international dissemination of endangered languages. There are currently around 1500 languages represented in cyberspace.

Dr Crystal's 60 or so published works include The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language and, more recently, Netspeak - an analysis of English on the Web. He held a chair at the University of reading for ten years and is now Honorary Professor of Linguistics at the University of Wales, Bangor. He was awarded an OBE in 1995 for his services to the English language.

Related Story

Email is 'third revolutionary step in human communication'

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!
Grim diversity numbers dumped alongside Facebook earnings
Bose says today IS F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.