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Evolution is strength of the English language

Readers' letters | Published:

I found the recent letter on the subject of ‘Americana’, referring to the Americanisation of the British way of life, quite interesting.

English is an evolving language

I share the writer’s concerns, though fail to see the connection to Britain leaving the EU. The Americanisation of our lifestyles started years before we joined that club.

In my opinion the entertainment business was the main reason for this Americanisation. We stopped going to the pictures, to watch a film, and started going to the movies to watch a, well, a movie. We stopped catching the train at the railway station and used the train station instead. In a recent TV repeat of an Agatha Christie story set in the 1930s, Miss Marple was ‘being picked up at the train station’. I don’t think Agatha Christie wrote that. The media again putting their slant, on what they see as modern-day English. I’m sure your readers can think of many more examples of our changing language. Blame the media companies, Virgin, Sky, and the internet for American English. The American media are to blame for our changing language.

But is blame the right word? Or should we be grateful for the way English continues to evolve? Surely it’s the way our language continues to change, that is its strength. The French have a beautiful language, and have brought in rules to protect it, but isn’t that like putting something in a museum? To be looked at and admired but not in modern use.

I admit I cringe when I hear someone say movies or train station I hate being corrected by internet spell checks when I write harbour instead of harbor, but surely it’s better to have a living and changing language that’s known and used all over the world, than a static unchanged language.

Throughout history the English language has evolved and changed. That is its strength.

Alan J Hunt

West Bromwich

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