Friday, January 9, 2015

Essay on the English Language And Its Evolution

English is the unofficial language of the United States, although recently 'Progressives' in the central federal government (and some state governments) have an agenda to make it bilingual with Spanish as the secondary language through Progressive social engineering. It is instituted by only offering Spanish in the educational system, deleting choice, and demanding that two years of a foreign language (in this case, Spanish) be a prerequisite for a college/university degree. Devious, to say the least. The educational system has the funds for sports and progressive curriculum, but not for offering language courses other than Spanish. Traditionally, German and French were included in the curriculum. At the rate of the growth of Chinese influence and subversion, that may include the Chinese language; and the agenda of Islamic global theocracy, Arabic may be also included.

That agenda is not popular with the people, at least for the generation that has not been fully indoctrinated, not coinciding with the Founders' dream of a constitutional republic that is based upon individual liberty, yet unifies without collectivism through respect of liberties and rights of others as well as the tried-and-proven international concept of the 'Golden Rule'. Multiculturalism does not promote nor maintain national unity. However, immigrated intellectual thought and free thinking can be beneficial.
Canada became bilingual between French and English because of regions being separated from the French and English settlers that founded that nation; and its negative results can be seen. The Balkans is another example. By turning the United States into bilingual, English/Spanish, it sours the concept of being 'united' and endangers its sovereignty.
What has made the United States so unique and successful is the concept of legal immigrants contributing to the success and progress of the nation and its citizens called 'Americans'. 
In another aspect, French was once the diplomatic language, but that has been replaced with English in a world that once Latin was the established language to unite people linguistically (and culturally). 
While English is spoken in the United States, it is not the same English spoken in the United Kingdom, which has evolved from Middle English, which evolved from Old English that was instituted from the Anglo-Saxons whose language came from Germania and Old Norse, which is part of the Indo-European group of languages of western civilization.
Anglo-Saxon Rune
In what is now called the United Kingdom, its original language was Celtic (Irish, Welsh, and Scottish Gaelic), until the Romans came and established Latin, which is part of the Italic language group of French, Italian, Spanish, and Romanian dialects.
The Germanic languages, the Slavic languages (Russian and Polish), the Baltic languages (Lithuanian and Latvian), and the Indo-Iranian languages (Persian and Hindi) derive from the biblical Hittites who also spoke an Indo-European language. Extinct Indo-European family of languages are: Phrygian, Lycian, Thracian, Illyrian, Macedonian, Tocharian and others. Asian and Arabic language/dialects are in a class of its own - those written languages being a unique art form.
The Germanic language, a branch of the Indo-European dialects, is divided into three groups: (1) North Germanic – Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Icelandic, and Faoese; (2) East Germanic – Gothic preserved in biblical translation dating back to the 4th century; and (3) West Germanic – includes High German, English, Dutch, Flemish, and Frisian. High German is what Modern German has become. Germanic Celtic tribes migrated to Britain from the region of Germania.
Here is an example of the similarities of the Indo-European languages by using the modern English word, father:
Old English = fæder
Latin = pater
Greek = patèr
Sanskrit = pitá
The change of the Germanic language from Latin is, for example, that f has been replaced with p from the Latin. The transition is called Grimm's Law, named after Jacob Grimm (Brothers Grimm) who was a linguist and folklorist of Germania. [Grimm Fairy Tales]
Without getting into the detailed schematics of the difference between Old, Middle, and New (modern) English one can readily recognize the evolving process when examining text. Three vowels in the inflectional endings of Old English words were reduced to one in Middle English, and then the inflectional endings disappeared in the modern age. Primarily the rules of spelling changed – and changing again for English spoken in the United States after the American Revolution and Independence as a sovereign nation of united colonies turned states. Thus, the American English is not the same written English of the colonial period, just as dialects evolved in the Southern states, Northeastern and other regions.
New England Primer
The cultural language evolved again as slang words and phrases were introduced and cemented in posterity within the Webster/American dictionaries. Indeed, a completely separate dictionary was published just for slang English.
Even today, English spelling in the United Kingdom is different than the American English, with examples like defense being spelled defence in UK, et cetera (Latin derivative). Both UK and American English have adopted words and phrases from French and Latin, such as: coup de etát and et cetera [abbreviated as etc]. Words like militia and service are derived from Latin. Early English used the phonetics of Anglo-Saxon which the Latin alphabet did not offer.
Nordic Rune - Old Norse
The Vikings spoke Old Norse, which was introduced to Old English during the Viking (Norse) Golden Age in history. Old Norse words adopted into and influenced the English language are many, sky, leg, they, and are would be a few examples. Just as modern English developed dialects, as in the United States (difference in regions, like South and Northeast); Old English producing dialects: Mercian, Northumbrian, Kentish, and West Saxon.
Before the introduction of the Latin alphabet, Old English used the runic alphabet like the Norse did.
Sentences and their structure have grown complex in Modern English as can seen in Old English and Old Norse. An example is taken from the opening lines of the poem Beowulf.
Hwæt! Wē Gār-Dena in geār-dagum = What! We of Gare-Danes in yore-days.
The differences can be seen when examining American colonial text to American text written sometime in the late 18th century and early 19th century after independence.

J. R. R. Tolkien used Old English text to create language that imitated Anglo-Saxon/Norse runic alphabet and used it for creating an Elven/Elvish language in his Lord of the Rings tales.
Elvish Rune
All during this evolving of the English language, primarily insituted and maintained in the United States, the art form of linguistics and the intellectual aspect of language has become lost; especially in the process of constantly including slang in American dictionaries that we are losing something special. Indeed, the American educational system is overseen by those that create new methods of education just to change and not for any intellectual reason; thus creating a society and its subsequent generations that no longer have the intellectual ability to converse and relay creative thinking. That phenomenon has been created by those who are intent upon changing the United States, not just to be unique, but to change the political form of our government that was established as a constitutional republic. Change can be disconcerting, but it is the detail of that change that should be what we are concerned about.
As my father used to say, “Don't fix something if it is not broken”.
New descriptive words are bound to appear as inventions and technical progress requires those changes, but setting aside that necessity, one wonders if we have not lost something important by not sticking to the “Queen's English” from the period known as the Victorian era - the dawn of great invention, industrial age, and seekers of technology.
Keeping things into the basics of simplicity is a fine thing, but not to the point where we curse future generations with 'dumb-down' education which eventually a tyrant government of the state uses to control the populace and thus inhibits and destroys the greatness of a civilization.
Technology has also polluted the written language in the form of handwriting. Once handwriting was important and the endeavor for good penmanship was key to correspondence. The art of penmanship is becoming extinct, not emphasized as it was decades ago. Indeed, texting has taken the place of conversation, further degrading personal interaction and the art of intellect. It is going beyond convenience that is creating a society of distant, impersonal, and callous relationship. Yet, through the Internet it has also made the world smaller where people of various nations can interact with little language barrier thanks to electronic translation. The 'Babel' effect has been reduced, at least in written languages. Technology may someday create a device that can translate languages in personal communication between people in audio form. 
Technology and change in societies has its share of progress, but it also loses the eccense of what makes a successful and great society. 
All of this reflective thought may become moot because homo sapiens seem to allow the corruption of power and the schematics of religious fervor end up destroying the world that has evolved, but has not learned to live in coexistence; and not because of lingustic differences.
Problematic, indeed.

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