Deterioration of Expression

Alan Cai

December 2, 2022

The archaic usage of “thou” into the more modern and familiar use of “you” is an often overlooked milestone in communications history. Although the exact border is difficult to draw, most can agree that usage of the former is now loosely relegated to Shakespearean-era theatre. It must be noted, however, that the word “you” is currently undergoing its own transformation into an even simpler word, if it could be categorized as such: “u.”

The progression of the English language as a whole seems to be gradually deteriorating from its former prestige. A quick glance at English works, writings, and documents immediately reveals the discrepancy and trend toward simplicity. Piecemeal changes in language should come as no surprise for any language throughout any era of history. Ancient Sanskrit and Farsi have branched into many different languages differing vastly from each other. Latin itself has also evolved into several Romantic Languages in broad use today such as Italian, French, and Spanish. However, it should be noted that each of these changes occurred through cultural influences and served to improve the needs of local usage.

The evolution of the English language in the United States of America does not differ from these root principles. However, it should be noted that archaic language structure has not been completely and utterly replaced in any way as French, for example, altered the Latin grammar structure. Rather, more complex vocabulary and diverse word choices have been replaced by a more limited supply of everyday words. In other words, the English language is changing in some form of a linguistic reformation in favor of simpler words instead of a total language transformation.

The cultural catalysts necessary for these changes still existed but reflected the desire of Americans, and indeed citizens of the world as a whole, to simplify and expedite communications and activities. Ensuring the proper delivery of communication slowly became more important than the manner in which words were expressed.

From a practical perspective, such a trend is reasonable. The inherent aim of all humans to produce more results from the least effort is ever present in our methods of communication, or nearly any other endeavor as a whole. In the big picture, expressing oneself is seldom the sole subject that may come to mind when discussing the mundane simplicity of modern life. Architecture, technology, art, and even food favor, ever more, practical uses over artistic value.

While developing societies do require prioritization of efficiency in order to prevail, language is best kept in an elegant and elaborate condition. The world is at a stage in which developed societies possess the freedom to unleash the prowess of refined and exquisite design without the fear of harmful repercussions. Only then will its creations match the sophistication of humankind.