Week 11: txtin iz messin mi headn'me englis

The views on language change tend to be polar: prescriptivists v descriptionists. Those Who Uphold Standards v Those Who Let Things Slide. Prescriptivists characterize changes in language on the net and elsewhere (hip hop, rap, or rock and roll and the drug culture before them) as a Corruption of Language that signals a decline in the Purity of Thought, and a likely Fall of Society and All-We-Hold Dear. Linguists characterize the same changes as evidence that people adapt language to suit new situations and technologies. One view tends to be anecdotal; the other is based on evidence drawn from a corpus of texts. One view is Ptolemic, the other Copernican. Both views - how a culture enforces how language should be used and how a language is used in that culture - play off one another to influence change and constancy.

This week's activities will give you a chance to look at how the study of language pans out on the net, and to consider language change.

Before class

Watch these before class on Tuesday. Read the comments along side the videos.
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