Monday, June 15, 2020

It's a Living Thing

Language, that is.
Language is a living thing, and as such, it constantly mutates. What do I love and hate about that fact? That language is a constantly changing thing,.

Okay, one of y favorite examples is from the show The Simpsons. Now, with the exception of the annual TREEHOUSE OF HORROR. I couldn't much care about the Simpsons. I watched the show when it started and I watched the way the art changed and okay, that's fine.

But, I was amused to the point of a grin on my face when the Oxford Dictionary decided to add the word "D'oh" as modern slang. How delightful! A goofy little comment from Homer Simpson became an actual word in the English language because so many people were using it. I bet if I looked into it I could find a few words from Buffy The Vampire Slayer added as well.

I love the fact that the English language adapts and changes to suit its own needs. Sometimes it steals from other languages (Okay, often), sometimes a new word is made up on the fly In any event the language becomes something new. How cool is that? It's like watching a chameleon change colors.

I all as is almost always the case, working on multiple projects at once. Short stories, novels, collaborations, a novella. all of these are directly affected by the change in language. My novels is a first-person spin-off of a Novelette I wrote ten years ago, which is, in turn, a spin-off from a novel. The language is a complete bastardization of the English I speak and usually use because it's told by a hitman with a very different grasp of the English language. He doesn't speak like me. He isn't me. I'm just telling his story. I've caught myself a few times wanting to increase his vocabulary, but I won't let that happen. He has his ways, I have mine.

It all varies. One o0f my teachers, when I was a kid, thought the word "garbage" was the most beautiful sounding word in the English language She told that to a herd of fifth graders and was shocked at the laughter. I knew another teacher who though "Onomonapeia" was the bee's knees. Words are wonderfully quirky in this language. We turn a phrase with the best of them and usually get it exactly wrong enough to annoy at least one reader a book at a guess. But we use those words just the same, and we invent new ones if we have to.

If I can be said to have anything that I don't like about the way the language  keeps changing, I guess I'd have to say I'm not fond of the shortcuts. Where R U should never replace Where are you? in my book. It made sense when you  had to pay for each character n a text, but those days are mostly gone.

That's it for me this time around. In case you haven't run across my latest release (from a freaking year ago, because cancer and the treatments for the same slow down EVERYTHING) my last novel released was BOOMTOWN and the follow up collection of short stories was WHERE THE SUN GOES TO DIE. Both are weird westerns.