Can the Internet Really Change the Language?

S y d n e y T r a d s

David Crystal David Crystal, British Linguist

Linguists like David Crystal are now claiming that the Internet, that new, impersonal force of the 21st Century, is able to change the language over twenty to fifty years. No doubt it can, and probably already has, among users born after 1996, who came to this world suckling on its electronic teat, who were not really born, but “downloaded”! But for the vast majority of English speakers, these changes to spelling and grammar, these degradations, will have as much success as all the other previous attempts at spelling reform in history- ranging from Noah Webster to George Bernard Shaw: little or none.

There are young people today who write everything as if it were a text message, and writing for example, “R U cumming 2day? F so, C U L8r” (Are you coming today? If so, see you later) is considered normal for them. But…

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