Language evolution is something that has always fascinated me and so I decided to take a look at some of the main motivating factors.
To a certain extent, the language that we use reflects both our environment and those with whom we interact. If we think back to the days of colonialism, there would have been a necessity to find a way to communicate with other populations for the purposes of trade. Similarly, technological advancement has had a huge part to play in the introduction of new vocabulary as people have striven to find innovative ways to talk about these exciting developments.
It has also been suggested that a sort of ‘Linguistic drift’ tends to occur when language is passed down the generations. As a result, our pronunciation changes, new words are invented, and the meaning of old words can begin to shift too. And whilst I’m entirely in favour of working at broadening my vocabulary, I have to admit to having been rather affronted by the quasi canonisation of certain ‘new’ words by the Oxford Dictionary. Take, for example, the word ‘fitspo’, short for ‘fitspiration’. I mean, really? What hope does this kind of madness offer me for remaining undefeated in the family ‘Scrabble’ games of the future?!
One example of a word that has undergone a gradual shift in meaning is ‘milestone’.
Originally a ‘stone set up beside a road to mark the distance in miles to a particular place’ this term is now used as a means of marking a significant life event. And whether it is within the context of childhood development, or the lifetime ‘firsts’ commonly celebrated by adults, a degree of both pride and joy is traditionally shared amongst friends and family alike.
Is it just a happy coincidence then, that this article marks not only my 1st anniversary as a blogger, but also my 50th blog?
Of course not. And, like so many personal achievements, this particular milestone has only been made possible by the support and encouragement of those around me.
My sincere thanks for taking the time to read this and (more importantly) please do stick around for the next fifty!