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S. A. Slack

S. A. Slack

I'm a writer of mysteries, fantasy, and children's books. I reside in the city of the famed Alamo and River Walk, San Antonio, Texas. I'm currently working on a YA fantasy set in a world of unique magic.

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SHADOWED IN THE SPRINGS, I have read a lot of mystery over the years and S A Slack is right up there in style, story-line, and yes, keeping you guessing. -- An Intrigued Critic
“VYOLET, WITH A “Y”, a delightful fantasy, quickly grabs the readers’ attention and draws them into the exciting realm of Asterdon...Slack has the wonderful ability to transport a reader from the comfort of their recliner to a foreign environment using only words. Debra E., published author

ABCs of English: Language Fluidity

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I tend to be quite rigid when it comes to the rules of the English language. I love language and am a creature of habit. I like to know that things fit into nice little boxes, follow certain rules, and can be made to look nice, neat, and pretty. I can be very opinionated, as well. Actually, I am perfect for the job of editor!

Language isn’t always as neat and pretty as an OCD editor would like to hope, though. One of the loudest–and most fun–discussions that would bounce around the lunchroom when I used to work at an office with other editors would be about whether the English language is, or should be, a fluid language.

Obviously, our language is fluid: it changes from generation to generation, and as technology shifts and changes. My stance is that the underlying rules should not change; these rules are how we keep our language classy, communicate properly with each other, and help non-native speakers learn without being any more confused than they already are. I also believe that language holds history, and that should be respected. Not everyone thinks as I do, however. Many believe that punctuation rules are annoying and useless, that some of the ways words are spelled are outdated and all words should be spelled phonetically, and that language is nothing more than a means to an end so it can be changed as the user sees fit.

It’s true that language is a tool: we use it to communicate with one another. It changes with time. Even I use emoticons and some text abbreviations. (LOL) There is a time and place for everything, though, and, if the language is going to be used to communicate effectively, perhaps instead of mourning the loss of “proper” English, we should be teaching students the appropriateness of each style, and the context in which it should be used.

What do you think? How do language rules keep a society running smoothly? Are usage and grammar rules outdated?

If language is our biggest tool for communicating ideas, history, feelings, commerce, etc, we should all put a little more thought into why we use it the way we do, don’t you think?

One Response to ABCs of English: Language Fluidity

  • Very good post, Kristina. As you point out, language does change as each generation follows the previous one. In my own family, we found a letter that my Swedish grandmother had written to her hometown newspaper back in Sweden about her experiences in America in the 1920’s. (It was published in said paper, by the way.) We were fortunate enough to find an older relative to translate it for us, as the Swedish language had changed enough that none of the younger generation could understand much of her words. And she was an excellent writer! I believe there needs to be some constant rules in all languages, or many precious words of the past will be lost to us.

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