Study Finds English Language is Changing 32% Faster in the Past Decade

Study finds that the rate of change for the English language has increased more than 32% over the past decade. The English language has always undergone some type of change. Shakespeare invented many words, like “critic” and “dwindle.” Additionally, the transition from British English to American English changed many verb and noun forms. Has the English language changed recently?

This is the question the team at GrammarBrain asked themselves as they started to notice an increase in demand for their readers to understand what odd acronyms and abbreviations stood for. Abbreviations like “S2G” or “ONG.” The culprit of these? Texting, group chat tools like Discord, and conversations over direct message, where character limits are put in place.

Patrick David, senior editor and linguistics expert told us, “We simply had to ask and answer this question. As our team started to notice more and more of these abbreviations coming up, it began to be a thorn in our side. How much are we changing the English language? And is it a good thing?”

The team spent around a month analyzing more than 200+ abbreviations and new slang words that are getting used. And took those abbreviations into a series of Google Ngram results. This allowed the team to get an idea of how much rate of change has occurred in portions of the English language. And see the level of adoption based on use intent.

The findings were astonishing. Usage of formal words like, “gregarious” were down more than 8% on average, as an overall index. And terms, phrases, words, and abbreviations that could get classified as having impact from internet culture were up more than 32% over the past decade. With the lowest period of change being between 1989 and 1998. An interesting and not-shocking discovery with the correlation of the adoption of the internet.

Original internet slang terms like “LOL” or “GTG” gained in popularity around 2002. And stayed consistent in both use, adoption, and intent into 2020. The team suggests for parents and children to get accustomed to these terms. For parents especially, some internet abbreviations can be offensive or aggressive. And parents who monitor their children’s activity online might be unaware that their children are receiving abusive or offensive language. The best resource, the team says, is to simply monitor children’s activity for new abbreviations or slang terms and get accustomed to them through expert resources like Wiktionary, Wikipedia, Urban Dictionary, and the team’s very own GrammarBrain.

Results of the study in its entirety will be published on the GrammarBrain website in less than two weeks. Including a full report for parents and other interested parties.

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Company Name: GrammarBrain
Contact Person: Patrick David
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Country: United States