A Level English Language: Summer Work for Incoming Year 13

Studying A Level Language in Year 13 next year? Here’s your summer transition work:

1. Make sure you have a copy of the AQA English Language Student Book.

We will be making regular use the textbook in class next year, and you will be expected to bring it with you to every lesson.

It’s available on Amazon here, or you can buy it from the library and save a few pounds.

You should make detailed notes on how the A Level is assessed next year.

Here are some questions to help guide you:

  • What are the Assessment Objectives for the course?
  • How many exams are there?
  • What’s covered in each exam?
  • What do you have to complete for the coursework element?

2. Create a language timeline.

Using the video below, we’d like you to create a language timeline.

You can find an exemplar timeline below that will give you an idea of what we’re after.

Timeline

3. Watch this Intelligence Squared debate and make notes on the arguments presented by both sides. At the end of the debate, decide whether you’d vote for or against the motion, and explain your decision in 200-300 words in a comment on this post.

 

________________________________________________________

And that’s that!

You need to bring all of your work, completed, to your first lesson back after the break.

If you’ve any questions over the summer, email Mr Shovlin: s.shovlin@lutterworthcollege.com.

Enjoy the holiday!

 

101 comments

  1. Holly Bailey x

    Prior to watching the debate, I did not think that the English language was “going to the dogs” and it’s safe to say that even after watching it, I still stand by my opinion. The speakers who were in favour of the motion both made fair points but they didn’t actually provide any solid proof that the world is somewhat going to go into some sort of meltdown if we don’t follow a certain set of rules for language. So, for that reason, their argument is pointless and did not change my perspective on the situation in the slightest. However, I was very impressed by Oliver Kamm and agreed with a lot of the things he was saying to support his argument. Personally, I think that the way in which language has developed throughout history has made it so much more diverse and the human race has yet to offer many more opportunities for it to be added to and improved upon in the future. I especially agree with Kamm’s point about changes in language creating a freer and more tolerant nation and society. I don’t think that ambiguity is a bad thing to have when it comes to the English language and even though the “sticklers” may not tolerate it, communication can thrive and still fully function without people having to completely understand the conventions of Standard English through and through. There are endless possibilities as to what may happen next in the world of the English language, so let’s support that change and make the world a better place.

    #TrumpYouListeningBabe

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  2. James ward

    After watching the debate, I mainly stand against the notion that our language is “going to the dogs”. Although i respect the views of the people who are for the motion. I view language as multi-functional in the respect that whilst the primary purpose is communication, its role in personal expression cannot be ignored. The so-called language ‘rules’ act restricts the way we use language and limits how we use it. Language should be used creatively and change should be encouraged, not condemned. While some older members of society may dislike the use of slang by the younger generation, change is natural in language so it’s better to embrace the change instead of resenting it. However, I do realise the importance of Standard English when it comes to formal settings such as job interviews in order to represent yourself as educated. Without enforcing some of these rules I understand that important pieces of writing such as CV’s and Applications may not be very coherent and clear and may have elements of ambiguity. But,is it always nesseracy to be always formal? Shouldn’t language be open to interpretation and encourage debate? However, the debate also highlighted to me that many of these ‘rules’ are nothing more than complete nonsense. For example, Oliver Kamm referred to the ‘split infinitives’ which are irrelevant in todays world but are still debated and argued. Overall, I believe that while it is important to maintain rules on how we use our langauge, if the context allows, creativity should be embraced. After all, I believe that we should control our own language and how we speak. not the other way around.

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  3. Victoria Hawkins

    Before watching the debate I was torn on which side I would be on. On one side, language does seem to be more basic and seemingly lack intelligence yet to oppose this surely change is natural; everything else changes surely language should too. Whilst watching the debate I was swaying side to side however the comments that drew my attention was at the end made by Beard about latin changing and “exceptions”. Language is evolving that’s why it is so hard to study, there is not one set of right or wrong. Kane made a point about different registers for different situations and I feel that is a key part of the argument. People do not talk the same all the time, instead they adapt to different people. Which is what I felt the in favour side were missing. Of course the key part of language is to communicate which the for side repeated it language is multi-functional, that is not its only purpose, what about self expression and creativity are there not also functions of language. Another thing that they failed to provide was factual evidence that there is a decline, instead personally opinions, which I admit can sway people, yet this is not solid evidence to base their assumptions on.
    So in conclusion I am against the motion and instead language is just evolving.

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  4. Ben Field

    After watching the debate, I do not think that the English language is “going to the dogs”. Both sides made great points but i believe language should have different roles for personal use and that the English Language is multi-functional. The English Language should be used creatively, even though older generations condemn the idea of slang, it represents that the English language is evolving and should be encouraged. There are things which need to be considered when using different language types. For example, in a formal setting where you need to compose your language in order to come across as educated and clever. whilst talking to your parents and family members, you might talk differently in a more calm and civil manner. There are situations however where you can be informal, for example, with friends you can use taboo and slang terminology. The changes in language for today’s younger generation is adapting and changing all the time, but our language has adapted over centuries. Each generation has/had a form of slang which was looked down upon by the generation before them. Yes we have to speak a certain way in a certain situation, but the English language is evolving and will constantly evolve.

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  5. Caitlin Meredith

    Caitlin Meredith Candidate Number 2356
    Centre Number 25274

    Prior to watching the debate, I didn’t validate the idea that the English language was “going down the dogs” as the way in which a person communicates, whether it contains slang terms and abbreviations’ that don’t necessarily make sense or in the ‘traditional’ way, didn’t affect my ability to withhold a conversation therefore I found myself conflicting with the idea that maybe the English language was deteriorating as generations evolve. However, upon watching the debate and respecting both sides of the admiral argument- in my opinion the theory that language is dying isn’t foreseeable but instead is being influenced by individuals influences in expanding the language to make it a more adaptable to learn and without having a language growth the way in which we as a society communicate with one another. Although many of those supporting the motion share valid points outlining why things could be interpreted in a negative way; John Humphreys proposed that in order to grasp the capability of understanding the English language, the ‘rules or grammar’ need to be used consistently however people who are not using the rules properly are still able to form some kind of respectable conversation therefore a clear question of relevance can be heard. These rules of proper grammar have been enforced to many from birth and have been respected and acknowledged to those who use English are their primary or secondary language, even though evolutionary influences like social media formats like Facebook have dominated generations of young to old exposing new ways to pronunciation, spell and write traditional and modern language; which could indicate a decreasing language but the fact that indicates of these metaphorical ‘rules’ do have greater influence in the way everyone in the diverse popularity we live in correspond. Despite certain new technological and cultural creating conflict about the way we communicate; in my opinion individuality and creativity defect any opposing argument suggesting that the English language is going to the “dogs” as factors are benefitting the development of our community as it breaks stereotypes and promotes acceptance.

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  6. Chelsea Hulcoop

    Before watching the debate I was unsure as to whether I had agreed with the motion or not. Once I had watched it and taken both sides in consideration I don’t believe that our language is “going to the dogs”. Humphries and Heffer do make some relevant and important points but Kamm and Beard had made a lot more convincing and encouraging points to prove that our language is changing over time but this is because new generations are coming in and new languages will also continue to come a long. These words can develop in a way that an individual or group choose to do so .This creativity can show a lot more about people and who they’re, which I believe should be allowed. We do have certain rules and structures for our language and grammar but still, this will change as well which Kamm and Beard had helped us to understand that’s its alright for these rules to be broken as it allows for our language to develop. Because of this, younger generations will use completely different language to what older generations would have used as we tend to use a lot more slang. This proves even more that our language has developed dramatically in society and will continue to do so.

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  7. Tom Clift

    I would strongly refute suggestions that our English Language is metaphorically ‘going to the dogs’, and believe that this school of thought arises simply from an older generation who fear change. Language has evolved enormously in recent years, especially due to rapid developments involving technology and the ways in which we’re now able to communicate, thus meaning that we have new influences on the ways that we speak. This is not necessarily a new ‘issue’, although I doubt that several hundred years ago academics were over-analysing the effect that new Norman was having on the Anglo-Saxon language. However because we are now in a period where the divide between the older and younger generation, in terms of language use, is possibly at it’s highest in recent history, this is becoming scrutinized and put into the public eye more extensively. In my opinion, language should be allowed to naturally flourish without the interference of scholars who seem to believe that they’re qualified to dictate how others are meant to speak.

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  8. Imogen Rudge

    Whilst I agree with some of the points raised by Humphrys and Heffer, I do not believe that the rules of grammar are conventions of its usage and should dictate over each utterance spoken in the English language regardless of context. Stylistic preference is often confused with grammar; according to Pinker ‘language is an instinct’, and within this instinct children learn perhaps the most important conventions, such as the addition of an ‘s’ to pluralise words, and yet do not seemingly have this instinct for issues such as split infinitives, that some believe to be necessary. Although they have no concept of ‘rules’ such as this, they are still able to communicate, and we are able to understand, negating the statement from Heffer that grammatical misuse has stopped communication.
    However, I do agree with Humphrys when he states that controlling language can indeed control what we think, and that we need this tool to perhaps succeed more in life, for example in the gaining of higher level qualifications and job applications, due to the prejudice placed upon how we communicate. This brings forwards a point made by a member of the audience, that we should first learn grammatical rules as a key part of the English language, and then after this, we can decide for ourselves when and how to apply them if necessary – context plays a major role and we should be equipped to deal with situations that require a certain usage, such as a job application. As Beard correctly states, ‘language is ours, it doesn’t own us, we own it’, therefore we have the freedom to change and break these ‘rules’.

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  9. George Dax

    Whilst the English language requires grammar to maintain accuracy when (for example) applying for a job, I agree with the second speaker that we should have a basic understanding of the conventions of English language.

    Creativity should be paramount in communication and writing as it is only that which makes language such a powerful tool. The ability for a writer to be able to paint an image for the reader, using simply language, is a skill that should not be lost by a militaristic regime such as the teaching of language in France. The ambiguity of the English language allows poets, writers and playwrights to leave their work open to the interpretation of the public, shaping different meanings within a single sentence.

    The language is alive and growing, evolving and changing, much like society. We wouldn’t attempt to enforce order on the diversity of a country, so why should we treat the diverse nature of language with hostility? New words that allow younger generations to communicate with speed and individuality should be celebrated not shunned. It represents creativity and a desire to innovate and change societal norms, which have continually changed in the past and should continue to do so.

    In response to the statement ‘the English language is going to the dogs’ I believe that the language is in fact hurtling it’s way in the other direction.

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  10. Charlie McGowan

    I agree with the first speaker that everyone needs to grasp a basic understanding of how grammar works to be able to communicate with others. However I do not believe that the English Language is ‘going to the dogs’. This is because I do not believe that people have to speak using perfect grammar all of the time. This would be boring, I think it is refreshing to see the English Language constantly evolving as old words are being recycled for new words. These new words make the language exciting. It also interests me how that certain words are invented in specific regions by scousers or Geordies, so the language that you hear may differ depending on where you are. Although I believe that we should not have to talk using correct grammar all of the time including when we are with our friends and peers I still understand that we need to be able to use correct grammar in certain situations. This includes during interviews, your C.V or personal statement because you want to show the person who is reading these documents that you are able to use correct grammar because this helps to make you appear as being intelligent. However, I do not believe that we should try to manually manipulate the English Language, I think that it should be left to carry on evolving naturally.

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  11. Jashan Purewa;

    Whilst the English language requires grammar to maintain accuracy when for example applying for a job, I agree with the second speaker that we should have a basic understanding of the conventions of English language.
    Creativity should be paramount in communication and writing as it is only that which makes language such a powerful tool. The ability for a writer to be able to paint an image for the reader, using simply language, is a skill that should not be lost by a militaristic regime such as the teaching of language in France. Kane made a point about different registers for different situations and I feel that is a key part of the argument. People do not talk the same all the time, instead they adapt to different people. Which is what I felt the in favour side were missing. Of course the key part of language is to communicate which the for side repeated it language is multi-functional, that is not its only purpose, what about self-expression and creativity are there not also functions of language.
    The language is alive and growing, evolving and changing, much like society. We wouldn’t attempt to enforce order on the diversity of a country, so why should we treat the diverse nature of language with hostility? New words that allow younger generations to communicate with speed and individuality should be celebrated not shunned. It represents creativity and a desire to innovate and change societal norms, which have continually changed in the past and should continue to do so. One thing that they failed to provide was factual evidence that there is a decline, instead personally opinions, which I admit can sway people, yet this is not solid evidence to base their assumptions on. So in conclusion I am against the motion and instead language is just evolving.

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  12. Sam Pardoe

    After watching the debate, I believe that our English language is not ‘going to the dogs’ however I do believe that are language is forever changing and evolving with the new introduction of different styles of social media including the ever-growing use of social-media. Whilst the views of the favouring side have valid points, we cannot ignore the fact that the language is in a constant change and so when new terms and phrases are introduced by the younger generation, the older generation are, of course, going to believe that that these new words are changing the language for the worse, and I would imagine this has been present for hundreds of years as a recurring pattern as the youths often want to deviate from their parents. Many of these changes in language will be due to the age gap between the older and younger generation and the use of social media. Many young people nowadays often want to ‘rebel’ against their parents to show their individuality and so by changing the language used within socialising in person and online, it allows them to differ from their parents by creating new terms that will not be understood by the parents, therefore giving them a sense of freedom. I can also imagine that if you asked the grandparent generation about the language used by their children, they would have very similar opinions to now. Finally, as Mary Beard states ‘the English language is ours, it doesn’t own us, we own it’; this means that we can change, alter and adapt our language however we please.

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  13. Bella

    After i watched this debate it has led me to believe that the English language isn’t ‘going to the dogs’; I do believe, however, that the english language is constantly changing and it evolves when society evolves. For example, with the use of social media in the present a lot more initilaism is used and even coinage with Joey Essex’s famous ‘reem’. It is the influence of the media impacting the English language, not changing it but expanding it. Their are valid ideas on both sides of this debate but we cannot ignore the fact that the language is in a constant change and so when new terms and phrases are introduced by the younger generation, the older generation are most likely to believe that that these new words are changing the language in a negative way. There has been a great acceptance of originality in the present days which could suggest that the younger generation are also being original with the english language to show that they can be different and original. Through generations and generations language has and will always change and that should be accepted because it will not stop anytime soon and whilst we possibly should use the correct forms of the english language, i personally think that would become highly boring and the younger generation would not be able to show originality. As Mary Beard states ‘the English language is ours, it doesn’t own us, we own it’; this particular quote shows that we can alter and adapt our language however we would like to and it should be accepted.

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  14. Becky Gmerek

    In my opinion i completely disagree as we speak completely differently to the way we would of years back. this is obviously not an issue yet there are many sources which can represent a change in our language. Our language has evolved enormously over the recent decade due to developments in technology and a change in societies choice of communication such as texting, calling, emailing etc… these new ways of communicating will obviously affect our language and possibly change the ways in which we communicate yet it doesn’t mean it is a negative thing. With most things in modern day society, we encourage individuality and with this we aspire for the young society to be ‘different’. Such as the way we talk and communicate using the english language. The same way no two people have the same hand writing, we don’t speak the same either. This is not a negative thing.

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  15. Ellena Holdridge

    I have watched the debate and noted down each key point to help me conclude that I am against the motion. English is ever-changing as both parties addressed however I believe the changes are for the better. In this world a lot of people don’t come from standard English speaking backgrounds and I would like to think we are trying to accept all sorts of different people now. I truly believe it is wonderful to hear different accents and slang dialects as it makes up a huge part of who we are. John Humphrys highlights the lack of ambiguity see in the BBC for example ‘A suicide bomber struck again’ as well as emphasising the way euphemisms are dulling down the severity of acts. I do agree with what he says in that language must be used correctly to create ‘clear meanings’. Whereas Simon Heffers seemed to present more rules with language. A lot of the ‘rules of grammar’ he created where later dismissed by the other panellists. For example Oliver Kamm persisted the ‘conventions of usage’ should take priority over the rules of grammar and later describes one of Heffers grammar rules as ‘rubbish’. Kamm suggested that some rules where made up to ‘create prejudice’ rather than to help understand the text. Mary beard believed the rules where there to be broken and that we should embrace the changes in English and relish in words ever-changing meanings. Both sides make valid points especially when Humphrys talks about a columnist who wrote a column without punctuation which was difficult to understand. I agree punctuation is needed in order to create grammatically correct sentences and to allow easier communication of ideas. I also believe language should be free and new words will always be and always have been created by young people, but this doesn’t mean English language is going to the dogs. Overall I believe context is key to what language is acceptable and when we have mastered context we can master communication.

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  16. Olivia Wilson

    When I watched the debate, in my opinion I think that the English language isn’t ‘going to the dogs’. From watching the debate I saw that both sides did have good points, but I do think that the English Language is evolving to different styles through things such as the media and that language can be used for personal use. Nowadays the English language has almost been adapted in a ‘creative’ way for example making up new words or creating slang. However this new creativity isn’t accepted by everyone as older generations aren’t keen on the ‘new’ language and almost don’t understand it. The most likely reason that the older generation aren’t taking to the change is because English language has always been the same for many years and all of a sudden words are being changed or created and the older generation don’t want this to be added to their vocabulary. The gap in the use of ‘new’ language is caused by age gaps, for example the older generation don’t use the internet as much as the younger generation and that’s where most of the ‘new’ language comes from . Even though language is always evolving, there is still a sense of what language is appropriate in different situations. Such as formal language at school or work, and informal language in front of friends. People may also use their language to express themselves, for example people may adapt their language to rebel as they know their language is different to others. Social groups may have new words in their language as part of their dialect and to be more connected as a group. People may change their language to fit in with their surroundings and the people they are with so they don’t stand out. Either way the English Language will always continue to evolve even if not everyone likes it.

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  17. mrshovlin

    Prior to watching the debate I was confused due to the fact that I can understand both sides of the argument. Language has become more simplistic and does contain more slang however; language has become more unique and has evolved alongside us. Although both sides made good points regarding the subject of ‘is language going to the dogs’ I swayed towards no being the answer whilst watching. Language has obviously changed as new words have developed and old words have progressed or have stopped being used by the majority of the population. The for argument that stood out to me and made me decide to fully support the against side was when John Humphreys suggested that in order to understand the English Language the ‘rules of grammar’ needed to be used consistently, however there are people who don’t know, understand, or just disregard the rules who can involve themselves in conversations in some kind of way. The ‘rules of grammar’ are not the only thing that is needed when using the English language. Sticking to these rules constantly doesn’t allow a lot of change within the language which clearly isn’t the case. The English language is constantly evolving with each generation and certain slang terms are either being created or returning from a previous generation, the English language has never stopped evolving and it never will. So how can you claim that it is ‘going to the dogs’ when the English language they are referring to is probably different to the original?

    Aimee Walton

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  18. Taylor Shilcock

    Despite me understanding the views of Jon Humphreys and Simon Heffer, I have to disagree with them. Although the primary purpose of language is obviously for communication, I believe its alternative purposes should not be ignored. It’s my personal opinion that language is multi-functional and this should be utilised. For example, self-expression is another key purpose of language due to it giving people a voice to express their beliefs and opinions freely. Even though it is clear language has various rules for various different circumstances are suitable and required, I believe the rules to be constraints. Furthermore, creativity within the use of language should be encouraged and rewarded rather than rejected. For example, the older generation are constantly speaking ill of the younger generation, my generation, for incorporating slang into circumstances they do not approve of- which considering how racist and sexist the older generation is, is a bit rich! However, I, like many of my peers, do understand when to cut the slang out and can recognise the importance of using Standard English in formal situations such as job interviews to represent myself as an educated individual worthy of the job. In conclusion, I believe that the rules are important and should be maintained, but if the context allows for it, creativity should be encouraged.

    As you were TS x

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  19. Dan Charles

    Prior to watching the debate, I was initially unsure of what side I would take. However, after watching the debate and considering the points raised by both sides, I stand against the notion, despite agreeing with points mentioned supporting the notion. I disagree with statement that the English language is “going to the dogs”, a thought I believe derives from older generations’ fear of considerable change in the English language. Due to advancement in technology and, subsequently, changes in the way in which we communicate, the English language has developed many new words and phrases that previously did not exist. Social media, for example, has allowed people and languages from all around the world to have an influence on each other, changing the way we speak. With the arrival of new technology, new slang and abbreviations have also been created over time as a way to make communicating easier and quicker. I believe that this is one of the main reasons that older generations may believe the English language is deteriorating, as it is something they are – in most cases – not familiar with and do not understand, creating a divide between generations; which I personally believe to be the biggest it has ever been at this current moment in time. I believe that language should be allowed to flourish and develop naturally without interference, but also that children should be taught the conversions of standard English to be used in formal situations, such as an interview or meeting, so that their chances of success are maximised and they are educated. I believe that changes need to be accepted and the English language can adapt in order for as many people as possible to understand and communicate at different levels at formality. I do not think that this is a new issue, but is a bigger deal than it ever previously has been, but as time goes on and generations are raised in a world with social media and technology at their fingertips, this will not be as much of a problem.

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  20. Jasmine Saadat

    Both arguments are very valid in that the English Language has declined but it has also inclined in that their are more words and more meanings with both grammar and vocabulary. The English Language has evolved dramatically to include a wider range of people with different educational backgrounds as well as other factors that play into their language. I wouldn’t refer to the language as ‘going to the dogs’ but I sympathise that it has declined in some aspects. Many people have come up with new phrases and terms to refer to a bigger concept, this results in a slight disadvantage in that some terms no longer sound formal or educational, but instead they sound more ‘dumb’ or illiterate. The ‘rules of grammar’ don’t allow much language evolution in that they are ground rules and have no room to change. Many new phrases that some may view as ‘going to the dogs’ have been made up to make life easier or to adapt to the technology advancement recently. Therefore, language has to change to evolve to the recent periods and it isn’t necessarily ‘going to the dogs’ in that it is just becoming more convenient to the time period.

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  21. Chloe d’Araujo

    Whether an individual is in support of the motion or against, many people can agree that the English language is constantly developing. Yet with some people open to this change, there are some who are clearly against the argument and believe that the language is ‘going to the dogs’. However after watching the debate, my views are against the language deteriorating.

    In agreement with Oliver Kamm, he states how the English Language is ‘like a river, which flows through many tributaries’. I support this as I believe that language is forever continuing to develop as the metaphorical river is constantly being misguided through different paths where new structures and meanings are picked up and carried along.

    Despite this, I believe there will always be a main stem or backbone to the language however it can branch off and grow in different directions, but it will never change the roots of where it came from.

    Although I also agree that the main aim for language is to communicate between societies no matter how ambiguous some may view it. Therefore I think that as long as a point can be put across then creativity should be encouraged.

    This is being displayed in the younger generation where John Humphrey’s implies that he cannot understand the new language his grandchildren use to communicate, however he thinks it’s fantastic. I agree with this and I am amazed as to how the English language can be moulded into different forms depending on the generation or individual group and can still be classed as one broad but beautiful language.

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  22. Will Gibson

    After watching the debate and taking views on both sides of the argument, I believe that the English language is not ‘going to the dogs’ and so I am not in favour of this motion. Each participant made good points for their arguments but I have resolved that the English language is not failing or dying, however, it is changing. It’s changing in a way that is appropriate to modern culture in our society. In my opinion, our language has many different purposes for which it can be used. One of these is to express our feelings about contemporary culture. Language adapts and changes over the course of time, EG, I have heard the word ‘bad’ be used to describe something as good. I do think it’s important that we have standards or ‘rules’ so that it is more simple to learn. Even though standards have the ability to help people learn language, I think that individual ingenuity is just as essential. This has contributed to adapting our language, which might be viewed as more appropriate for today’s culture. People can change their language varying on the social setting they are in, eg teens might use slang with their friends as it is more casual. However, the use of slang would most likely stop at that, as in other settings, eg a job interview, it is certain that grammar is most important as it displays a professional nature.

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  23. Cat Wall

    I am personally against the motion that the English language is “going to the dogs”. Despite the arguments of Humphrys and Heffer being very valid and well-spoken, I disagree with their idea that, because we are “losing” some words and grammatical rules, the language is deteriorating. I believe that the loss (and gain) of words is essential in the language evolving to suit the current lifestyle at the time. For example, we have gained words such as “tag”, “like” and “selfie” to suit our generation of social media users, and we have lost words that are no longer relevant to modern life. Rather than making our language more ambiguous as was suggested by Humphrys, I believe that changes in the words we use make what we say more understandable, as we can use words more relevant to our lives. I think that, while grammar is undeniably important in keeping the English language understandable, I don’t agree with the idea that breaking grammatical rules endangers the integrity of the language. In fact, I would argue that breaking these rules allows the language to evolve as it should.

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  24. Dylan Clarke

    I oppose the motion that language is ‘going to the dogs’. Humphrys and Heffer put forward compelling arguments, but I can’t say that they are agreeable. It is claimed that aspirations of political correctness are taking language down a supposed ‘dangerous road’, but it is unclear what the actual risks of that road are. Words will die out and cease usage, but I can’t see that communication is being more commonly impeded with the changes in language that are occurring. Until communication and understanding are being affected by changes in language, I see no issue (or problem) with what is going on. In fact, I believe a whole new breed of words are coming into existence that enable better communication and self-identification; we’re now constantly classifying new mental illnesses, sexualities, and acceptable labels that people can feel comfortable expressing and identifying with. This is not a language that is going to the dogs, but a language that is changing to become more inclusive – I fail to see how this is negative. I think the problems proposed by apparent ambiguities are exaggerated, and the comparison of the current state of language by Humphrys to the Orwellian “newspeak” is outrageous. A current willingness to avoid offence in language is not symbolic of language being controlled, but a resistance against the hierarchical power systems formerly enshrined within it.

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  25. Chloe Priest

    Prior to watching the debate, I am against the notion that English Language is ‘going to the dogs’. However, I do believe our language is evolving as old words are being recycled for new words. Due to advancement on technology, we have created new words that previously did not exist to fit our generation of social media users, resulting in us in losing words that are no longer relevant to our society. Social media has influenced more slang words and dialect to be used more frequently. This may be because of popular tv programmes like for example, Geordie Shore, which regular watchers may pick up on their dialect. The ideas on both sides of this debate are valid but we cannot ignore the fact that the language is in a constant change, which the older generation may see as a negative. Although, our generation do realise the importance of grammatical and standard English in certain contexts, for example, within a workplace or an interview, to ultimately show ourself as an intellectual individual. In conclusion, I believe our language is just evolving naturally to fit our changing society.

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  26. Matt Cook

    Personally, after watching the debate I oppose the motion that the English language is ‘going to the dogs’. While Humphrys and Heffer both put forward valid arguments, I don’t agree with theidea that the language is deteriorating. Much the opposite, I believe the ‘loss’ and ‘gain’ of words, along with the changing meanings, is necessary as the language adapts to changes in society and modern culture. Without it, language would be hugely outdated and wouldn’t be able to ‘keep up’ with the constantly changing society. For example, new words are constantly being created or having their meaning changed due to the ever-advancing technology; social media has given new meanings to the words ‘like’, ‘tag’ and ‘post’, while products like the ‘iPod’ or ‘iPhone’ have also added to the language where necessary. This is the same with the loss of words that are outdated no longer needed. However, the language ‘rules’ are still important and allow the teaching of language to be much simpler; they’re necessary to some extent and in some situations, however they’re adaptable and people change them based on the scenario and people around them.

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  27. Lauren Smith

    Prior to watching the debate, i hadn’t considered views which had classed language as ‘going to the dogs’. I am therefore against the motion that we must use language strict to the rules which we are taught as youths. I believe that language is developing and changing to fit with todays society, and modern terms which come to life with current affairs and scenarios. Additionally, i think we should look at new language from a positive view, as it shows the creativity and minds of people in society, and almost encourages youths to start thinking out of the box, embracing individuality and standing out from the crowd- which examiners already encourage students to do in order to access higher grades. An influence to new language is also upcoming technology and the advancement of social media, in which we are encouraged to express opinions which are relevant to upcoming events in society, this has created a world of slang and appropriate dialect for online use, which has caused middle and early modern english to be recycled for new words. In Conclusion, both sides of the debate thrive in validity, but i do support that upcoming language is creative and new, and language is forever changing to fit the society.

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  28. Rebecca Timson

    Despite both sides of the argument making compelling claims I would overall disagree with the motion. Self-expression is arguably a vital aspect of the English language along with the primary function as a form of communication. People interpret language in a multitude of different ways and as long as the participants involved understand the conversation and what has been said, there is no issue with people expressing themselves by using the English language differently.
    I believe that both Humphries and Heffer provided pertinent arguments for the motion, emphasising the importance of understanding grammar, but I don’t think their argument was strong enough when compared to those against it. I found Kamm’s point about changes in language creating an unfettered and more tolerant nation and society most compelling. There will undeniably be certain rules within English, in terms of structure and conventions, but the meanings of words will almost never be completely set in stone. The English language has historically changed through lexicons and semantics and it is arguably inevitably transpiring.
    In my opinion the ambiguity of the English language is arguably not a complication despite ‘sticklers’ not tolerating it. Simply by looking at the similarities in other languages and the common British tourist technique of pronouncing the same sentence more slowly and louder, it is clear to see that communication can thrive and is fully functional without people completely understanding the conventions of standard English entirely.
    To conclude I believe that the creativity and ambiguity of the English language and its ability to change is an incredible quality to have, and though certain groups may find themselves in a language predicament through the interchanging jargon and slang of each generation, the language is certainly not ‘going to the dogs’.

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  29. Calum Davies

    Prior to watching this debate, I did feel that the English language was ‘going to the dogs’ and after listening to both sides of the argument, my view still remains for the motion that language is ‘going to the dogs’ but view is not entirely for the motion.

    I agree that language is diverse and is constantly changing, Kamm sums this up brilliantly by saying ‘language is like a river, flowing through many tributaries’. Due to advances in technology, for example, the internet created new words such as, download, toolbar and firewall. Word need to change in order to fulfill society’s uses.

    On the other hand, I still believe that language needs to be unambiguous and clear. Definitions of words have changed over history for example, the word ‘sick’ means feeling nauseous or wanting to vomit but now it also has positive connotations towards it. I’ve also seen the word ‘bad’ being used to described something good. I’m not necessarily saying this is a bad thing but I do believe that words should stick to their original definition. However, slang words, which are relativity recent creations, cause some problems. It’s acceptable to use slang words in a casual environment e.g. talking to friends or family however, it shouldn’t be acceptable in more formal environments e.g. at an interview or at a workplace dealing with customers. Therefore, some language changes change for the worse thus supporting the motion.

    In conclusion, words do change naturally in order to keep up to advances in society and technology but words need to stick to their original definitions and some words change for the worse.

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  30. Jack Holliday

    I would vote against the argument because if feel that the English Language is developing to fit the new generations that come to learn it. I do however agree that there need to be rules and boundaries that we have to follow like common grammar and a sense of punctuation but I feel excited to what can come to the English Language. I feel like in 40 years I won’t recognise the uses of words like my Parents and Grandparents do today.

    I feel like that taboo words like Fuck and Cunt will be ameliorated so that they are not seen as bad. I do feel like I can agree with some of the points that were made about the language getting worse with the fact that kids are using swear words at younger ages. I do feel that swear words and taboo words should be used at appropriate times but if they are being used over and over again then it will become more common for words to be used and they will no longer be able to call them taboo words just everyday words.

    But I don’t feel that the English Language is going to the dogs I just feel it is adapting to help the new generations to communicate in their own way. Words like sick have also become ameliorated and I feel that the younger generations have lightened up dark words so that communication is more fun. Technology also has a big part to play because like they said in the debate it is also changing our writing style which is easier and less time consuming I think.

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  31. Chloe Hodges

    The notion that the English language is ‘going to the dogs’ is an idea that I simply do not believe to be true. Of course, it’s crucial that children are taught to communicate effectively and this is done by educating basic rules of grammar, however, it’s completely ludicrous to actually enforce complex regulations into informal contexts. Watching this debate only solidified my opinion. I found Simon Heffer to declare a valid argument but it was one that seemed short-sighted and ignorant. He stated that ‘we have to be realistic’ without acknowledging that the basis of the argument he was making was that a universal set of standards should be rigorously implemented across the country -more so than it already is; this in itself is entirely unrealistic because of the increasingly diverse society England has become and will continue to be. The evolution of our language is a necessary one and it should be celebrated. Our improved language may be a ‘misuse’ of what Humphry and Heffer consider to be Standard English however, this adaptation allows people to feel comfortable due to the coinage of words that are self-identifying such as labels that categorize sexuality and gender. It’s important to accept this change to language and embrace it, as it is certainly inevitable. Also, I sincerely doubt that anyone other than Simon Heffer believes that the confusion between the words ‘flout’ and ‘flaunt’ is an actual concern due to the fact we can easily rely on context to remove this so-called ambiguity. Language is definitely not ‘going to the dogs’.

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  32. Will Shilton

    After watching this debate, I disagree that the motion of language is ‘going to the dogs’. However, I am also not fully in agreement with the ‘against motion’ side. Both sides do give compelling points, for instance, Humphrys argument if you are compelled by the opposing side it will be because of their intelligent and correct use of language. Which in short is supporting the fact that we need certain rules for our language to make sense and by knowing all the rules makes you more of an intelligent person. Arguing this was Beard’s point that the people supporting the motion cannot agree on all the rules, such as if a sentence can begin with ‘and’.
    In my opinion, by looking at the history of the English language there is no doubt that it is constantly going to adapt and evolve to suit the needs of the current generation. Although I understand the point that every individual interprets and uses language differently, I cannot quite see how most rules of language can be changed or broken, which was a point Beard was trying to make about when she learned Latin. But Latin is a language barely ever used now, so I do not see how it is relatable to English which has some basic rules in place so that it makes sense to everyone. To me, the English language is always going to shift with the arrival of new words, phrases and modes of communication, but there is always going to be the need of basic rules so that everyone can make sense of the language they are using.

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  33. Robert Tyler

    The direction in which the english language is developing and has developed over generations is so mercurial and uncertain that an individuals views can only ever be an opinion and never a fact. It is understandable for some people to believe that the quality of the english language has deteriorated, with much language used lacking any purpose and frequently being grammatically incorrect. Nevertheless, the evolution of the english language has coincided with the expansion of society in England, with multicultural influences having a dramatic effect on modern day language. The notion of the english language ‘going to the dogs’ is completely unjustified as it suggests that the decline of the language is due to it being passed onto people of different cultures which I believe to have the opposite effect. The english language has not been confined to grammatical rules in recent years, leading to a development of words and phrases that some believe to ameliorate the quality of the english language, which therefore leads to it being understandable why some believe that there has been a decline in the quality of the english language. Personally, I believe Oliver Kamm summed up the english language best when he suggested that it was ‘like a river, which flows through many tributaries’, as I believe it is hard to deny that the path of the english language has been determined naturally without the influence of man. Therefore, I firmly believe that it is only different perspectives which result in the english language being referred to as on the decline, and that the english language should be admired for being universally applicable and its many global influences should be enjoyed.

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  34. Maya-Lily Wan

    Listening to both sides of the debate, I am compelled to disagree with the movement. Of course the English language is important to understanding communication but taking language and making it into your own is also very important. English language should be able to be used differently to express different aspects of everything. The words we have lost and accepted relate to new generations of todays society, forcing me to disagree with the arguments from Humphry and Heffer. With society breaking grammatical rules, I believe this will not effect the language but make room for new ideas for the English language.
    On the other hand, I believe the new generation of people should be taught grammar and how to use language properly but also to eventually make it into their own as another form of growing up into independence.
    Personally, I see no issue to language changing and adapting to new rules and words and using it how we please. Language has changed a large amount since it started and I see no reason in stopping language in continuing to change as the world ad society changes with it. Language is supposed to change to allow new ideas and adaptation into life and to create new meanings to different things has it has done for centuries.

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  35. Harrison Pepper

    Prior to watching the debate, I strongly disagree that the English language is ‘going to the dogs’. Throughout many years language has evolved and will constantly evolve particularly through the use of social media. Language is bound to constantly change and adapt to modern day culture because of how technology is changing and this shouldn’t be a reason to input rules to keep language at a structure. At 6:57, the word “sick” used in that way (to mean something “amazing” or “unbelievable”) has actually been around since the late-19th century, but disappeared after WWI until it suddenly came back. You can hear it uttered in period movies like “The illusionist” (2006). Obviously this hasn’t progressed through the use of social media but goes to show that these words can change to adapt to the period of time. Instead of looking at language and believing its going ‘to the dogs’, I think it should be viewed much more positively in the fact that it urges imagination and creativity. Language should be recognised that it will constantly go through a continual development and shouldn’t necessarily mean that its a fault in the system. Language adapting over time is pretty much inevitable at this point and the sooner people accept that, the easier it will be.

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  36. Lauren Simmons

    Although I have watched the debate, I neither agree or disagree with the notion that the English Language is ‘going to dogs’ as both sides make relevant points that make the decision difficult. I agree that Standard English is dramatically important for certain situations e.g. applying for a job or communicating with someone of authority, to add clarity and effectiveness in conversations. It’s also highly important that children still get taught the rules, structures and grammar of language so that they can acquire important skills that will be developed and used in their lifetime. On the other hand, I do not believe that the rules should always be followed as language should not define you however shape you and allow you to be creative. Individuals have differences, so following the same strict language may hide your identity, however using the patterns as a guide allow the language to be interesting and forever changing which therefore means the language will not go to the dogs.

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  37. Cara Hall

    Before watching the debate I personally didn’t think that English language was ‘going to the dogs’ although I’m undecided on which side I would be on as both sides made valid reasons with their point of view. After watching the debate I am more edging towards the side that different people use language in their different ways and also that language can be used in many ways and not everyone agrees with that. Now in the modern day we now have ‘slang’ language which is used every day and the people that believe in the traditional language are against and despise the language that we now all use. In defence of the traditional language we use it more for formality and to help us succeed and be beneficial in our business and educational lives. With our more informal and slang language it’s more what we use when we’re around our friends and family and by using these words you feel more relaxed as you don’t feel like you’re being majorly judged. Although by using slang terms you can be seen as uneducated and have a lack of intelligence, whilst if you use more formal words every day you are seen as educations have intelligence. To conclude I think that both sides have valid points but personally I think that our language is changing and evolving every day and it’s hard to keep up with it.

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  38. Finlay Lacey

    After watching the debate, I oppose the motion that the English language is ‘going to the dogs’. Rather, I feel, that it is developing and adapting with society. Language and its rules change when needed, new words are added to the language when they are needed. To say that language is deteriorating because grammar is not as strictly enforced in education as it once was is absurd. Just as it has for the last 2000 years, the English Language is changing. If it never developed when it needed to then we would all still be speaking Latin and we would not have our own language. Language changes to make it more comprehensible and more relevant to today’s needs. Language is ever-changing and it is highly unlikely that it will ever cease to change. I understand that grammatical rules are necessary for a language that actually makes sense, but I do not see a lack of strict enforcement as a hugely negative thing. The more freedom people have when learning the language opens the door for more creativity which is definitely not negative. Language is never going to stop changing as there are constant needs for updates to it. The English language is definitely not ‘going to the dogs’.

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  39. Emily Brailsford

    Before watching the debate, I was undecided to which side of the argument I agreed with due to the mixed opinions I had on the idea that English language is ‘going to the dogs’. On one hand, language has become a lot less intelligent and conversations have become shorter due to abbreviations as well as the large contribution that technology and social media have on the language we communicate now a days. Opposing that side, change is natural therefore language changing should also be viewed as natural and people should be accepting as it is only adapting to its environments. Prior to watching the video, I accumulated and learnt a new understanding of how the English language is evolving. A key part of the argument I took is that language has different registers for example informal and formal which are used accordingly depending on the environment and situation. People don’t always speak the same and they adapt their language to who they are speaking to as well as the context of that specific conversation. We can’t ignore the influence that social media has on language, allowing slang terms and dialect to be used more frequently, although I believe that this should be viewed through a positive light as it exemplifies diversity in language. The debate provided two interesting sides which both can be questionable but also exhibit very valid points however the world is advancing everyday therefore I strongly believe that English language should be able to change and adapt as everything moves forward. Despite that, I have confidence that there will always be basic rules to language in order for people to make sense of it no matter how much the vocabulary expands with the arrival of new words and phrases, it is refreshing to see language progress and evolve.

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  40. Hannah Lacey

    After watching the debate I disagree with the notion that the English Language is ‘going to the dogs’. I feel that the English language develops and changes according to society, and is adapting rather than deteriorating as the debate discussed. Due to technological advancements in todays society new words have been created that fit our generation and the way that we communicate. New labels for varying things like sexuality are being created which I see and our language becoming more advanced and inclusive for a broader amount of people. It is valid that the recognition of language change has taken place but exclaiming that it is a negative thing is absurd. Language will continue to evolve forever and although everyday language use is more relaxed and Standard English is not as commonly used in everyday speech we still acknowledge the importance of grammatical formal language especially in formal situations such as interviews. The English Language will continue to change and adapt to fit society continuously but I do not believe it is ‘going to the dogs’.

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  41. Louise Mawby

    I disapprove with the suggestion that the English language is ‘going to the dogs’. Despite both arguments providing compelling reasoning, I stand by my judgement in that language will continue to evolve, flourish and be paramount in society. The demeaning expression ‘going to the dogs’ arises from older generations or Luddites who wish to rebuke change and value out-dated traditions. To my mind, their fear of change is the enemy of the future, and one should not put a strain on the progression and evolvement of language.
    On the one hand, I believe that having an understanding of grammatical structures is highly beneficial, but in the same way as Mary Beard said, I concur that the rules are to be tampered with, being there as a reminder, and not so much an obligatory factor. New distinctions are exciting and stimulating, words which were non-existent a hundred years ago are now part of our everyday lives. The development of the world around us leads to the development of terminology too, which itself is constantly being modernised and therefore relevant to our lives.
    To a certain extent, I am in accord with Heffer, as we should indeed have pride in using complex grammatical constructions. However, this skill does not define whether our language is metaphorically ‘going to the dogs’. Most people use different language with their close friends compared to the one they use with their boss. Kamm made a point about the register used for different situations, as language is tailored and adapted according to the recipient.
    Grammatical functions such as inflections, syntaxes, semantics and orthography are cognitive, (stated by Steven Pinker and Oliver Kamm) and we are aware of the conventions of grammar. However, it’s one’s decision on whether to put these to use or not.
    Language deserves to evolve, improve and inspire, in the same way as we allow technology to. There should be no limits and no sacrifices; a sentence should not be scrutinized or criticised if no verb is present. It doesn’t own us, we own it.

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  42. Lauren Wright

    After watching the debate and evaluating all the different aspects of whether English is ‘going to the dogs’ I do not agree that it is as instead I believe that language naturally changes over time to adapt to a particular era and therefore eliminating words that are no longer relevant to our language; this could be the reason society believe english is going to the dogs although its instead its making language more relevant to individuals needs in the current society and language will continue to evolve with a new relaxed tone for along as English is spoken. Although grammar is not as strictly enforced anymore I accept it is still important but not necessary in everyday conversation in comparison to formal situations where it is more formally acknowledged. Therefore, I do not believe that english language is going to the dogs, it is just changing rapidly to fit todays society

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  43. Joe Butterfield

    After watching the debate and taking into account both sides of the argument, I have to slightly disagree with the motion that “Language is going to the dogs”. I believe that the English language should have some discipline to be understood universally and that understanding all of the rules in language is important to be able to express it to its full potential correctly. I agree that language should be used creatively to allow people to differ from one another and for language to evolve with the development of new words for example. However, if it weren’t for the rules and structures in language then there would not be anything in place to stop blatantly incorrect use of language. A person could say whatever they like, spelt however they like and use the excuse of creativity to justify it and that would be fine. This would eventually allow language, as Humphry and Heffer put it, to go “to the dogs”. To summarise my opinion on this matter, I believe it is important to use language to fit your own personal use but should stick to simple rules that have been passed down generations and have allowed the English Language to remain standard and prevalent.

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  44. Bethan

    Prior to watching this debate I had never really considered the arguments as to whether the English language is going to the dogs so I had no opinion on this topic, however since finishing watching this debate I stand firmly against the motion.
    During the debate I have to admit that I was swaying in my view as both teams were delivering valid arguments, but in the end I would conclude that I am firmly against the motion, its many purposes are merely changing rather than dying. I do believe that John Humphries statement of “you can’t communicate without a basic understanding of rules” is true, equally does Mary Beard when she elaborates on this with “no body here is saying that there are no rules to language”, however I would say that these “rules” provide only the very basis of the English language and therefore it began to grow and flourish in different directions as time moves on and societies change. In addition to this Oliver Kamm’s point about the “English language is shot through with ambiguity” and that its “not essential to communication that we be absolutely unambiguous” is very true because ambiguity allows us to interpret things how we would like and allows us to express our individuality rather than being directly told what something is intended to mean, and I believe this is where semantic and lexical change stems from as when people start interpreting things differently we begin to identify different meanings of words. Change in the form of loss and gain of new words is essential in order to ensure that we continue to keep up with ever changing societies and lifestyles, it is also inevitable that this change is going to happen as everything is in constant change so it is only natural that language fits in with this pattern. In conclusion, I do not believe that the English Language is going to the dogs, it is just going through a process of change, so I therefore stand firmly against this argument.

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  45. Abbie McConnell

    Grammar creates a set of guidelines which allows us to form fully functioning sentences with the words we have learnt, subsequently enabling other participators in the conversation (or readers) to understand. Without these guidelines which we can all follow, it makes communicating increasingly difficult which is where miscommunication stems from; creating the leading cause of problems circling the globe. Without guidelines and structure, a language is unable to be formed therefore no one would be able to communicate as there would be no understanding of what the other person is saying. Due to misconceptions of words over time, it has blurred the lines between grammatical correctness and modern day definitions. For example, uninterested and disinterested which according to Oxford dictionary are two words which should not be synonyms for each other due to their adverse definitions. Henceforth, to a certain extent I agree with the motion, specifically Simon Heffer’s point that university professors should be encouraging grammatical correctness and correcting students errors since that is the difference between getting a job and being turned away. However, like Oliver Kamm (an opposing panel speaker) pointed out to an audience member, it is the context which needs to be taken into consideration as that can completely change the individuals register and dialect. For instance, post university graduates applying for jobs wouldn’t use slang like they would with their friends, instead they would use standard English. In conclusion, although I did agree with multiple arguments from the panel opposing the motion, I would have personally voted for the motion. My main reason being that I agree that in order for language not to go to the dogs, structure is vital and should be a higher priority to teach in primary school than it currently is.

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  46. Amy Fawcett

    Before watching this debate I believed that the English language was slowly deteriorating, because fewer people use standard English, received pronounciation or grammar correctly.

    However, I agree with the first speaker that different subcultures communicate differently (due to dialect, reach and influence) often substituting words for others with the same connotations. An example mentioned was the interchangeable use of ‘problem’ and ‘issue’. And more contemporary adjectives such as ‘beaut’ and ‘sick’ which are ameliorated to replace ‘good’.
    This concludes that descriptivists view language as an evolutionary thing, that should be observed and not judged. With reference to this, the English language is not going to the dogs, it is being broadened and evolving.

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  47. Megan Griffiths

    I am against the motion that ‘the English language is going to the dogs’ because although grammar is important, it is only one factor within the English language and there are a lot bigger factors that makes our language unique. The argument for the motion implies that the changing of words’ meanings can often cause people to use incorrect english. However, if sentences are correctly structured, changing the meaning of a word should not effect how standard or non-standard our language is. In fact, change can be a positive thing as it keeps the language interesting. If young people change the meaning of words for example, “sick” often means good/cool now, they are then able to share their knowledge with adults. This will then allow them to communicate and engage more which is s key purpose of any language.
    The English language is confusing enough already with the likes of “too”, “to” and “two”, so I don’t think that changing meanings of certain words is going to cause that many issues. Changing words is no different to creating a new one, people will just need to be taught the new definitions.
    So as long as words are used correctly and in a correctly structured sentence, change can be a good thing in order to keep the language alive

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  48. Jade Bonner

    I am understanding of the conflicting opinions and feel that both sides have important and valuable aspects. However, I feel I am more opposed than for the movement. As an individual I feel that English Language acts as a form of art and allows the expression of creativity to demonstrate personal characteristics and behaviorisms therefore creating separation and fluidity between people and enables them to gain confidence, in conclusion benefiting society and the future as people can become themselves. Nevertheless, I do feel Standard English is vital for all English speech avoid confusion and necessary in writing to make opinions and facts clear and understandable. For both elements to be fulfilled the balance between social interaction formally and creatively needs to be considered and there are certain times when either will become more relevant. Heffer referred to employers focusing on grammatical rules to find the perfect candidate and this suggests the right time and place for acting formal, whilst acting formal there is not a limit of expressing creativity but there are certain societal values for acting in a certain manner to forward yourself professionally. Whereas, social media contradicts this and solely bases the features on casual colloquial behavior to share adventures in a lively manner which would only be deemed acceptable in certain places. In conclusion it is understandable that the two sides both work together at alternate times to portray the correct mixture of formal and informal language to express professionalism and creativity.

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  49. Ella Haworth

    After watching this debate and weighing up both arguments of the question ‘is the English language going to the dogs?’, I can confidently say that I stand against this prescriptive notion, despite Humphries and Heffer both providing commendable points supporting it. I understand the importance of the use of correct grammar, and that in todays society, the need for efficiency overpowers our language use which leads to clipping and abbreviation. However, I believe that, yes, the English language is changing, but it is not deteriorating; it is just adapting to a modern lifestyle. For example, the dynamic verb ‘text’ would not have been relevant thirty years ago, but nowadays, you would not be able to go through life without ‘sending a text’. On the other hand, the concrete noun ‘cassette’ would not be used today, although, thirty years ago, it would have been a part of peoples everyday vocabulary. In this situation, it was necessary for ‘cassette’ to die out and ‘text’ to take its place, this reflects the inevitability of language change. If society still had the same vocabulary as we did twenty or thirty years ago, we would be seen as outdated compared to the advancement of the rest of the world. There will always be certain rules and conventions in the English language, but in order to keep up with our ever-changing society, we need to adapt our language.

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  50. Tegan

    The argument that the English language is “going to the dogs” is most likely surrounding contemporary abbreviations, slang and dialect phrases that differ from traditional English. But is this change negatively impacting our linguistics, or are people simply conservative with their own lexis? Examples of semantic change, such as the evaluative adjective ‘sick’, seem to intimidate the older generations when its new meanings come into play. There seems to be an issue regarding lexical change, as language is modified to suit the modern day due to things such as technological and social development. Even though both arguments in this video are valid and strong, I do not believe that the English language is “going to the dogs”. Vocabulary and grammar is evolving; every single day alterations are made. Common rules and words are left behind whilst others are being created. Difference is not negative and I do not believe that changes to our everyday language should be viewed as ‘lesser than’ more traditional language used by previous generations. The way in which we communicate does not deserve to be scrutinised, especially by those who see themselves as above due to their “proper” English. Our English language is amazing. The rules can be bent or completely ignored, yet an utterance can still make sense and be understood: “I won’t tell no one”. Perhaps language like this does not fit into how English “should be” spoken according to some, but why should this be seen as linguistic decay? Evolution, in the terms of life, is something that is looked upon as groundbreaking and wonderful. Advantageous, even. The incredible changes made over generations of species have a sole purpose of increasing their survival rates. Maybe change to the English language is our way of surviving in a modern society…

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