An article in today's Guardian heralds a new era of "consumers" like you and me changing the way we communicate and access information through the new technologies of Blogs (like what you're reading now), podcasts (you'd better read it, as I'm a bit slow on this and my MP3 stores a grand total of 30 tracks, all of them angst-rock and stuff I should have grown out of when I was 15) and camera phones (I have one and can even use it!).
Is this technology really transforming the way we communicate or are we being duped by big business into thinking that the more new gadgets we buy, the more cutting edge we are? It's a tricky one. David Crystal in this link on the Bangor University website and in this longer article seems to think language is changing because of technologies like the internet, and I'm not going to argue with him (after all, he has a beard and looks like God) but not only changing English, but preserving smaller, threatened languages by creating a virtual community for users of that language.
But is this change for the better or is our language shifting into a new era of laziness and ambiguity? Sounds like the prescripitivist vs. descriptivist debate all over again...
ENA5 Language Change (esp. essay question on Contemporary Language Change, attitudes towards language change, influence of technology on language change)
ENA6 Language Debates (attitudes towards language change)
EA4C Language Investigation (how different styles of language are used on the internet, the language of texting, the language of discussion boards/chatsites/MSN etc)