According to the BBC Reading University researchers have identified some of the oldest English words in the languages history.
‘I’, ‘We’, ‘Two’ and ‘Three’ are among the oldest known words, which could be thousands of years old.
The Researchers have created a computer model, which can analyse the rate of change of words. It can also predict which words will become extinct.
They believe “squeeze”, “guts”, “stick” and “bad” could become obsolete first.
The computer programme is designed to log a timeline showing how modern Indo-European words have changed over time. Students can use the software to look up any date and they can see which words were used at that time.
The researchers using the computer programme found that common words or words with precise meanings were more inclined to be the oldest and most long standing.
Basically, if you were able to go back in time (if you can that’s amazing you should tell someone about that!) Reading University could provide you with a pocket guide to the language of that time. This would enable you to communicate with English speakers throughout the ages.
This amazing piece of software can also travel forward in time and predict how words are likely to change in the future.
Does the T.A.R.D.I.S have this facility the Doctor might find this tool very useful.
Basically these guys have too much time on their hands; if they invented a tool to actually travel in time then I’d be impressed.
Words will change over time, it is inevitable. Kids make up words all the time, some stick, some don’t. New words are added to our dictionary now and again, but I don’t think old ones really disappear or become extinct. They will always be remembered somehow in books or multimedia programmes.
I guess words go out of fashion. It’s all swings and roundabouts really.