Distorting the English language

2015-06-03 06:00

THE English language is being distorted, adulterated, fouled and polluted like never before, especially from American rap artists and in the explosion of social media.

Soon it will be unrecognisable. Look at SMS language and all the nonsense on Twitter, Facebook, etc. It’s appalling.

But English is adaptable and has survived for centuries in various forms and dialects. Even the British cannot speak the queen’s English perfectly correctly. The London cockney sounds so foreign that it’s gibberish to our ears.

In South Africa, the distortion of the English language started long before the Internet.

Various race groups in our country, like the Afrikaner and the Indian, speak their own peculiar kind of English. Even though Indians were forced to learn Afrikaans, they did not speak it, but they freely incorporated Afrikaans words into their vocabulary and created their own unique lingo, which is spoken widely in the Indian townships of Chatsworth and Phoenix. So you have ek se, vy, bokkie, lekker, howzit? etc.

Purists are alarmed at the poor English on radio, television and even in newspapers. But my interest is not with the slang and the various English dialects, but how the meanings of some words have become distorted over time, especially by business. Factory shops sprung up in the eighties and were popular among shoppers.

You could get a genuine item for the fraction of the cost at a chain store. But as this concept became popular, fake factory shops appeared and took customers for a ride. Then came Game City, Sun City and Gold Reef City.

They were not so bad, but Fruit and Veg City. Do fruit and vegetables live and work in this city? It’s taking the concept of a city a bit too far,

But fish factory? Are fish manufactured in a factory? It’s absurd.


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