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Summary Language Myths

Chapter One: The meaning of words should not be allowed to


vary or change
Languages keep changing. We dont really know why, but it happens.
There are non-changing languages but that are dead languages. As long
as a language changes itll keep alive. There are many words which have
lost their true meaning and gained other meanings throughout time. If a
word doesnt work out too well, the language will change it once again to
make it more fitting. Some purists think that language is a thing that
should not change. According to them we need to go back to the true
meaning of a word. There are also converse terms, words that have
different meanings but lead to each other. A good example is learn and
teach. If a teacher teaches a class, the class is learning. But a teacher
could also say, I learned this class something, by teaching them. I think we
cant switch back to the real meaning of a word, I think it would cause too
much confusion because it would really change the whole language, which
not necessarily has to change in a good way.

Chapter Two: Some Languages Are Just Not Good Enough


When we look at all the languages around the world we will notice that
there are huge differences in the use them. Since English is a lingua franca
you will see it put to use way more than for example Swahili. Most of the
languages are just languages spoken by smaller communities. Some
people think some languages are inferior to others because they are not
used to write literature or to discuss rocket science. For example in New
Zealand, the Maori language is seen as inferior language because of the
said reasons, which causes problems. But then again according to the
ancient Greeks, Latin was an inferior language but still it became the
language for science from around 1600 until now, so opinions on
languages will change during time as well. A language which is in some
eyes inferior, could be the next world language for example. There is also
a sad part about it, some people tend to see the users of a inferior
language as inferior people, which is total nonsense of course. It is true
that some languages cant discuss certain subjects, because there is no
need to discuss those things, but words can be borrowed from other
languages as well or develop words themselves. After all, old English didnt
discuss computers.

Chapter Three: The Media Are Ruining English

For decades people are saying that English is a dying language, however
in every decade there seems to be a time where people feel the need to
protect the English language. Everyone and everything has been blamed
throughout time. At this point, people have come to the conclusion that it
is the Medias fault. The Dirty Fingernail theory states that Journalists dont
pay enough attention to language details. This is not true, the fact is that
languages are subject to change and the problem is ignorance about how
the language changes. Journalists dont invent new forms in a language
they merely use them, a journalist just writes in the way where the
language changed in to. There is another theory, which states that
journalism is just Junk Writing, because the journalists write in such a way
to attract attention and too keep people reading their article. Writing for
the press is not that easy and requires a lot of practice. The media arent
necessarily ruining English, they just adapt to the changes made in the
language.

Chapter Five: English Spelling is Kattastroffik


The English language is full of words that are hard to spell. However, if you
know how to pronounce a word and the meaning of said word, you should
be able to write it down. That is of course when there is no divergence in a
word, where one speech sound has multiple ways of spelling and one
spelling can mean an entirely different speech sound.

Chapter Eight: Children Cant Speak or Write Properly Any More


For centuries people have been complaining about the state of the English
language. Most of the times the youth and the education get blamed for
this matter. However there are no valid arguments. These days the
childrens writing and reading skills are much better than in the days

where people refer to. The speaking of the youth shouldnt be directed at
schools, since they dont really teach children how to speak . the kids
might not speak standard English, but what is standard English? If we set
Posh English as a standard, is Cockney English not proper then? Youth
dialects shouldnt be banned, its something that shows that languages
keep on changing.

Chapter ten: some languages have no grammar


Grammar is a rule that speakers of a language follow. The rules are about
how words can be put together and the way they are put together. Every
language has nouns and verbs, which means every language uses
grammar. Just because there is no grammar book, it doesnt mean that a
language doesnt use grammar.
Chapter eleven: Italian is Beautiful, German is Ugly
According to the title of this chapter one language should sound nicer than
another one. But its not just the language itself, its also the dialects. How
pleasant or not a language might be, is also dependent of if you like the
people, who speak the language, or not. For example, some people hate
the German language, because they simply dont like Germans. Languages
are also region bound, so people dont like certain languages because they
dont like the region at all. This all seems more like a matter of prejudice
than actual dislike of a language.
Chapter thirteen: Black children are verbally deprived
African American kids are sometimes described as verbally deprived.
Some ethnical groups will of course use a different sound than the white
Americans, which is of course not always the case, there are a lot of
minorities who speak perfect English for example Martin Luther King and
Nelson Mandela. I think this myth is rather racist.
Chapter fourteen: double negatives are illogical
One of the most disliked problems in grammar are the double negatives.
But why do people dislike them so much? Its not a mathematical
problem, only in maths is negative + negative a positive. Actually some
people see it in that way, they see the people who use double negatives
as less intelligent, which is quite ignorant in my opinion. I mean will these

people get angry every time that a double negative is used in a song or
something like that? I mean there are bigger problems in this world than
the use of double negatives.

Chapter fifteen: Television makes people sound the same

Sociolinguistics see some evidence of language change caused by the television,


not that the whole language changes, it just popularizes some vocab words or
catchphrases, there are almost no sound or grammatical changes at all caused
by the television. For example, when someone with a heavy Southern accent
comes on TV, not everyone will start talking in an Southern way. Some people
might copy it for fun maybe, but I guess you will learn the most changes in your
language by simply traveling or meeting new people.

Chapter eighteen: some languages are spoken more quickly than


others
A common north-European thought is that Italians, Spaniards and
Frenchmen speak extremely fast. They are all three alike. Its like our
northern-European languages are spoken way slower, or are they? You
cant really determine the speed of one language compared to another
one, because every language has many sides so its kind of ridiculous to
just pick one language, because you would ignore aspects of the picked
language. There is no general way to determine which language is faster,
since a language is alive, you cannot include every part of a language. So
we can think that the one language is much faster than another one, but
we will never be sure.