July 4th is Independence Day in America. It’s been 241 years since that bunch of ungrateful colonists declared independence. You’d think we’d have learned to speak English properly by now.
Yeah, not so much. Here are 5 ways Americans are ruining the English language:
Americans have long been guilty of spelling abuse. Thanks to 19th-century reformer Noah Webster, we’ve dropped the original and proper “u” from words like “colour” and “favour.” And we’ve lost the “a” from words like “orthopaedics”.
But we’ll add these missing letters back at random, whenever we want to appear more sophisticated.
Come on, America, was it really that hard to write one extra letter?
Apparently, the answer to that last question is “yes.” Yes, it is. Now, don’t get me wrong. Abbreviations have always been a part of how the English language evolves. For example, consider words like “fab,” “babe” and “delish.”
But these kids today, man! They’ ve taken it to a new, and frankly ridiculous extreme. Or perhaps that should be “ridic.” Anyway, “words” like “obvi” (obviously) and “spesh” (special) appear to be taking over English, part of a trend some linguists have dubbed “totesing.”
This trend has spread to English-speaking millennials around the world, but at least one linguist who studies the phenomenon blames America for it. More specifically, California. Researcher Sravana Reddy told NRP that “It might have originated in that area and spread over because of Hollywood and TV.”
And as much as “obvi” makes me want to scream “Get off my lawn!”, apparently, the current wave of crazy-making abbreviations may have started with “hella.” Which means that younger me was part of the problem. Read more