New Generation, New Language

“Send me the link. ”

“I will text you.”

“Attach it to the email.”

“Google it..”

“Download from the cloud.”

Do you know what these phrases mean? Of course you do. We use them everyday. But thirty years ago they had no meaning at all, at least for most of the population.

It is amazing how much our language has changed . It is impressive how fast we have evolved into a significantly different species.

We are currently using language that a generation ago was almost unheard of. And I don’t think I need to explain the reason for such a drastic change .

When I was a child back in the 80’s, the most common way of communicating in long distance was through regular mail or a telephone call. Now we can even see a live image of a person from the other side of the world on a miniature screen held in our hands and talk to that person. It is amazing!

We have become a new kind of people with a new language . It’s not English anymore. It’s something else. We may call it “Technologish” or “Cyberish.” Whatever we may call it, it’s a new way of referring to the various ways we currently operate and communicate.

Cyber space, computers, information technology, and virtual reality have become our norm. The internet is our new encyclopedia and newspaper. Ebooks are our new books. Spotify and Pandora are our new radio stations. Netflix and Hulu have become our new movie theaters. Amazon and EBay dominated our shopping days. The list goes on and on.

And the language and phrases we use are increasingly evolving. I am not sure if we would be able to communicate effectively with someone who time traveled from the past, even from the 1980’s, without confusing them with all of our terminology.

I am sure that in a not so distant future we may start talking about calling your vehicle to come and pick us up. Or teleporting to the other side of the world in minutes. Or experiencing a vacation through virtual reality. Or having personal relationship with an artificially intelligent humanoid.

What other terms will we use then?

English only?

So what if people don’t speak English while in the United States?  Would that make them less welcoming and not deserving to live in this country?   I have a big problem with people glorifying aspects of their culture, specifically the dominant language.   If you have seen my recent posts, you probably noticed how disturbed I feel with all the political propaganda that regards the United States as exceptional and unique.  I must say, United States is not exceptional (and the US is not the only “America” either).  I recognize that this statement may offend some readers.  But the simple fact that I am posting this post should indicate that I don’t care if people choose to feel offended. Please click the following links regarding discussions about a candidate speaking a language other than English in the political arena:

I assume that those who hold an egotistical and superior image about their “American” culture would probably agree with these discussions.  They probably agree with the statement that English is  “kind of a unifying aspect of the nation …. that is understood by all.” The language that is understood by all is not a specific uttered speech, but the meaning behind it, such as love and compassion.   For example, should Bibles be written only in English for it to be effective in sending a message in the United States?  Is English the only language that would make every family functional?  Yes, it is the dominant language and it is a great asset when looking for a job… but it is not the only language.

What really unifies a nation is a common goal for peace, improved economy, equality, and affordable insurance. Not a language.

Why are some people so afraid of accepting the diversity that makes this country truly great?

How do you pronounce “mispronunciation”?

pronounceThere is a list of commonly mispronounced words in the English language.  English is my second language, so I find myself having extra difficulty pronouncing some words. People used to make fun of my accent while growing up.  So I have become more conscious of the way I pronounce some words.  But at the same time, I have heard many English speaking people also having a hard time pronouncing some themselves, not to mention how to spell them.  But my struggle has been steady, some words I manage to master, but others remain a challenge.  For instance, the words “refrigerator“, “evaluation”, and “focusing” (the latter almost sounding like a curse word when I utter it) have been interesting to pronounce.  Also the words “awkward“, which I prefer to say “strange”, “veterinarian” which I prefer to simply call “animal doctor”, and “food” which I prefer to say “meal”.  The latter one I tend to pronounce it like “fool” or “feud”. Still not right. How about “lasagna”, “piranha”, and “coercion”?  So many times I find myself rehearsing or simply trying to avoid uttering these words.  In my profession, I struggle with pronouncing common terms such as “methamphetamine”, “dopamine”, “marijuana”, “somatoform” , “enuresis”, and “trichotillomania”.   So my dilemma has been trying to “fit in” and pronounce these words the way most people, or the way the dictionary mandates. I wonder if this is the same for all those whose English is also the second language or is it also common with those who grew up speaking English.  Sometimes I just say to myself “the heck with it, I will just pronounce it any way I feel like it.  People should know what I mean!”.  But other times I think I should conform to how the majority pronounce words.  Nevertheless, I thought I could share some of my experiences in this world of languages.  To end, let me share with you some commonly mispronounced words.  Enjoy trying to pronounce them out loud.  Ready?

  • aegis: ee-jis, not ay-jis
  • asterisk: as-ter-isk, not as-ter-ik
  • alumnae: a-lum-nee, not a-lum-nay
  • archipelago: ar-ki-PEL-a-go, not arch-i-pel-a-go
  • athlete: ath-leet, not ath-a-leet
  • candidate: kan-di-dayt, not kan-i-dayt
  • chimera: kiy-MEER-a, not CHIM-er-a
  • disastrous: di-zas-tres, not di-zas-ter-es
  • electoral: e-LEK-tor-al, not e-lek-TOR-al
  • etcetera: et-set-er-a, not ek-set-er-a
  • lambaste: lam-bayst, not lam-bast
  • larvae: lar-vee, not lar-vay
  • library: li-brar-y, not li-bar-y
  • mischievous: MIS-che-vus, not mis-CHEE-vee-us
  • mispronunciation: mis-pro-nun-see-ay-shun, not mis-pro-nown-see-ay-shun
  • nuclear: noo-klee-ur, not noo-kyu-lur
  • nuptial: nup-shul, not nup-shoo-al
  • primer: (schoolbook) prim-mer, not pry-mer
  • picture: pik-cher, not pit-cher
  • prescription: prih-skrip-shun, not per-skrip-shun
  • prerogative: pre-rog-a-tive, not per-rog-a-tive
  • peremptory: per-emp-tuh-ree, not pre-emp-tuh-ree
  • probably: prob-a-blee, not pra-lee or prob-lee
  • Realtor: reel-ter, not ree-la-ter
  • supposedly: su-pos-ed-lee, not su-pos-ab-lee
  • spurious: spyoor-ee-us, not spur-ee-us
  • tenet: ten-it, not ten-unt
  • ticklish: tik-lish, not tik-i-lish
  • triathlon: try-ath-lon, not try-ath-a-lon

Read more: Commonly Mispronounced Words —