The Effect Of Technology On English Essay

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The Effect Of Technology On English Essay, Research Paper Jarrod Farrar English 255-01 November 20, 2000 The Effect of Technology on English Technology has always had a hand in the shaping of languages. From the time cavemen formed tools to draw pictures to the internet age, technology has changed the way we write and speak. With the spread of the ?internet age? we have seen many changes in English in the last few years. The English language will continue to evolve and spread with our increased dependence on these new technologies. The December 31, 1999 issue of the Economist wrote ?The birth of the computer and its American operating systems gave English a nudge ahead ; that of the internet has given it a huge push?(p85). With America being the leader in computer and

internet technology, English speaking people have reaped the benefits. Silicon Valley is going to cater to the clientele that it is most apt to reach and make the highest profit from. That is good news for English speakers, bad for those that speak another language. The main option for these non-English speakers is to learn enough English to be able to work Farrar 2 the computer software. This leads to the spread of English throughout the world. The global economy is another way that technology effects English. In an article in Fortune, Justin Fox writes, ? To compete globally, more and more European businesses are making English their official language?(p209). The global economy is only successful if the technology available works. The technology that encompasses the global

economy includes: telephone orders, telecommunications, internet businesses, web sites etc. Without adequate technology, the economy would be more focused on local business. In this technology, as with computer software, English is the dominant language. In order for non-English speaking companies to compete on the global market, they must be able to communicate with English speaking customers. If they force the customer to communicate in their native tongue, odds are that they will not reap the benefits available. The increase in global businesses led to the spread of English throughout the world. The combination of computer software and global businesses leads to the internet. The internet is the most important tool in the spreading of English throughout the world. Through the

use of chat rooms and voice chat sessions, non-English speakers are exposed to English. This exposure leads to Farrar 3 more English speaking people. English speakers comprise the great majority of internet users, so most web sites are written in English. In order to get the most out of the internet?s capabilities; users must be able to understand English. This leads to a further spreading of English throughout the world. The product of this increased dependence on English and technology leads to the formation of new words. Wilson Quarterly wrote in an article about the addition of new words in the Merriam-Webster?s Collegiate Dictionary in the 1990?s that, ? Contributing 24 of the 99 terms added in the second half of the decade, technology is the leading language generator. The

internet alone(amazingly, the term was only added in 1997) has spawned a brood of 12 nouns: newsgroup, chat room, clip art, home page , hyper link, netiquette, netizen, screen saver, search engine, spare, URL, and World Wide Web? (p13). The addition of these words in such a short span of time shows the influence of technology on English. English is evolving to accommodate the new terms needed to function in the ?wired? world. The advent of these news words leads to confusion dealing with origin of the words former meanings. Richard Lederer writes in Writer?s Digest , ?The hot new technology of the computer thoroughly befuddled the meanings of back up, bit, boot, browser, crash, disk, dot, hacker, hard drive, hit, mail, Farrar 4 memory, menu, mouse, net, park, prompt, provider,