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August 26th, 2009, 11:52
Yepp, I've seen it, and I agree with you.
Language is interesting. I think it's very likely that the shorthand/leet writing adopted through chat, on line games and SMS'es will affect how English (ands other languages) develop.
Linguists sometimes use the term language-process (translated from Norwegian, and I'm not entirely sure about the term) for changes that live their own life and is in many ways unstoppable.
A few examples:
1. At least on one occasion, what was to be the Norwegian language developed so fast that after 100 years the grand-grandparents (if they had been alive) would have a hard time understanding their grand-grand children.
2. In Norwegian, "tabasco sauce" is used for that particular type of sauce and not only the sauce marketed by McIlhenny Company. A few years ago a lawyer (!) representing said company tried to stop this, as it was supposedly a violation of copyright. Or something like that. She failed. No surprise, you can't sue a language. And for what it's worth, the only reason why we use tabasco sauce as a generic term, is the success of McIlhenny Company's product. And the only way to prevent it, would be to ensure that the sauce didn't sell.
3. Among teenagers and young adults in Norway the "kj" sound (as in "chore") seem to be replaced by "sh" as in "shame". Many elders, especially teachers (!) despises this and tries to stop it. So far without success. It's spreading. I think it can't be stopped, and that in 50 years this will be the norm.
And, somewhat unrelated, we recently had a revision of how some foreign words are written in Norwegian (we like to write words like they are pronounced). Thus "wire" shall now be written as "vaier", "clutch" as "kløtsj" and so on. A lot of people are protesting against this. What they forget is that this is not the first time this has happened. The norwegian word for "driver" is "sjåfør". It derives from french: "chauffeur", and until the 1920's it was written that way, then it changed. I'm pretty sure there was just as much noise back then, but nobody writes it like that anymore.