(Reprinted in part from other postings by Helena K. in other social media venues)
For the past month and one week, Express Lane has been reveling in the events of summer. Aside from live theatre, seminars, lectures and other literary local diversions to celebrate the word, e word locally, there have been some international dates of note.
June 11, Web 2.0 entered the tomes as English language’s millionth word as we debated the merits of the runners up, Jai ho and nOOb. On June 21 people all over the earth stood still – in their various time zones – to honour the arrival of the longest day of the year.
Month’s end brought the memory of kids streaming out of schools into the summer sun, shouting ” no more pencils, no more book, no more teachers’ dirty looks”.
All these events are linked by ‘the word’. It appears in the anticipation of an event and in its summary at the conclusion. In the case of the millionth word, English sort of graduated, don’t you think, into the first official truly global language. We buy, sell, sing, rap, tell and taunt in English, all over the world.
1/5th of the world has chosen English as its first language and/or its primary language commerce. And, in China alone it is likely that more numbers of people are just learning English there are current native speakers, world wide. So we should not be surprised by all the local flavours that will naturally blend into this mondial mix. Yes! Here comes more Chinglish, Hebrish, Hinglish, Yinglish, Franglais, Spanglish and more movie and marketing magic words too, just because. Because we have always accepted and adapted and now it is, well, politically correct, to accept all enthusiastic new additions, isn’t it?
By definition, web 2.0 is “the next generation of web products and services, coming soon to a browser near you”. In contrast with an opinion in my local English speaking community, I offer this contrast from an Indian colleague at http://world-howiseeit.blogspot.com/
“It’s very good that the language is inclusive and adapts to changing times but there is a thin line between flexibility and weakness.” He goes on to post:
“I don’t think Web 2.0, Jai Ho or nOOb deserves a place in the official dictionary. At this rate English must recognize all the commands and mnemonics used by the software community like MOV, MVI (move immediate), printf, malloc etc. For God’s sake why ‘jai-ho’? It’s a good term in Hindi not English.”
Well, my learned friend in a giant country that has so many languages and has also embraced English; I feel that every blog, byte, tweet and Facebook Entry brings us ever closer to turning our Ancient Greek foundation into a fast forward geek future.
At least, we are all writing more and words are flowing, kind of, in a sorta way, omg, I’ll bbiab with a nu blog, k?