She's "the most accomplished woman in e-sports" and "is known for her macro mutalisk style and kick-ass creep spread." according to New Yorker. I don't need to ask Dorothy if we're still in Kansas any more or if they still speak English there. If this were a 'tweet' or a 'text,' or if I were 14, I'd say WTF? It's not your fathers English any more, it's your granddaughter's and Madison Avenue's. And yes, sometimes Madison is still an avenue and back in 1957, for a short while, a dance that made you hip.
Being willing to bet that a mutalisk isn't the gastropod it might appear to any speaker of Old English (last Thursday's) to be, I looked it up. Apparently there's a Heart of the Swarm and a Wings of Liberty version of this beast, for beast it is or would be if virtual reality were more real than virtual.
I suppose that knowing I'm dealing with Video game dialect and that indeed it is a dialect separated by several degrees from the language formerly known as English, relieves me of the need to look up e-sports. This being the age that it is, the universal and sole metaphor for defeat is the kicking of ass. Movies today can be based on video games which are based on Comic books which are based on life as people fantasize it with the aid of movies. As I said, the hip world is removed by several degrees as is the language they speak there.
A cartoon in the same issue carries the punch line: "@FBarnes12 favorited a prophecy you were mentioned in" WTF?
Language has to change, rufft uns die Stimme. And of course, like it or not, it does change. LHTC is not just a dispassionate observation I fear, as much as a phrase usually used to stop all conversation about the nature, extent, causation or direction of that change or the question of whether the change is inevitable as much as it is profitable, a thing of politics, a thing of choice -- of proclamation, hortatory or compulsory or sought after. I often think that the inevitability of that reaction, the peremptory attitude and conclusive pose of that retort smells strongly of one of those social, cultural or academic cults that proliferate and evolve, expand and contract like planes in a Multiverse, and like universes, resist the transit between or access to each other. Things all that are for me like reading Kierkegaard -- things of nausea and sickness unto death. It doesn't matter whether I walk, or march or ride or crawl as much as it matters -- where.
While cultures world wide seem to be agglutinating and homogenizing and Americanizing, there is a level at which it is fragmenting and racing apart at an accelerating rate. Gamer-speak or Business school babble of last week is harder for me than Chaucer and the number and compartmentalizing of dialects follows suit. The question for me however is whether this change is a "must-be" or an attempt to make the fool seem intelligent, the nerd hip and the outsider belong. Do we accept clumsy, indecipherable English because the English Department bullies insist we do, or because we are so afraid that if we can't understand it, it's because we are inadequate? Did the Sokal hoax succeed because people who needed to seem smart thought it was over their heads, because we thought that academics talked like this? I hate the Imperial nudity fallacy, a form of the argument from ignorance, but sometimes -- hey!
It's been suggested that the main attraction of being able to quote Derrida or Foucault is that it sounds impenetrable and thus immune from contradiction because it puts the opposition on the indefensible defensive and at the point of aporia. I have to ask whether this is the kind of change that has to happen or is this, like so many changes we see: simply marketing. Do changes in nomenclature reflect diversity of objects as much as the desire to create false choices, make things more attractive or less undesirable -- to cover the emperor's ass? We used to laugh 50 years ago at the insistence that we call the garbage collector a 'solid waste transfer technician' while we don't seem to be amused any more at ordering some tongue twister at Starbucks instead of a cup of coffee. Marketing of marketing, all is marketing.
Is the LHTC, Language Has To Change catechism here mostly to support this sort of thing? Is the teaching of English now no more than rigid spelling exercises? Do we indulge and feel good about ourselves because video game lovers want to be seen as athletes, participants in "e-sports" instead of nerds, because 'homes' are more attractive than houses or apartments, pre-owned sounds less sordid than used. Are we suddenly "gifting" presents at Christmas instead of giving them because it sounds more technically knowledgeable to the easily confused? Do things "negatively impact on" rather than hurt, damage, harm, degrade, retard or a dozen other nuanced words because we think it elevates our speech or because it reduces the need for vocabulary? Are we seeing change for change's sake, for business sake, for political reasons, for the furtherance of a cause -- for social climbing, for social equality, for identifying with criminals or saints or intellectuals or food faddists? When we talk about gluts or abs are we trying to seem athletic and fit in with those who are? Again, it doesn't matter that change is inevitable, but where it inevitably takes us.
Orwell had a grand old time showing us the benefits of change in 1984, where language had to change because you had to change. Whether you call it Obamacare, the ACA or Swiss style or Socialized medicine has everything to do with who you're trying to keep on track for your station as well as which track you've been put on. Control the language, control the thought, control the purchasing and call it lifestyle.
Yes, jargon has a use. Acronyms and abbreviations have a use although we so often use them to ridiculous extremes SOS or QRM make life easier for the telegrapher, ALS is easier to say than Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, but so much is simply marketing or euphemy or other ways to hide fraud, fallacy and fakery: FFF if you will. There does seem to be an expansion in that universe, but contrary to the message of the LHTC, all change isn't the same, doesn't serve the same purpose and may or may not be deleterious (may negatively impact on) to your health, well being, freedom of thought or solvency.
We have to have new words -- sometimes. We don't necessarily have to learn to talk like people who are 12 years old or are illiterate, confused or dialect infused, although we might buy more or more foolishly if we do. We don't have to think we're sophisticated multilingual sophisticates by ordering an Americano in Fargo like a phony. We don't have to assume Liberal means Fascist or Conservative means Anarchist or that calling Asia the Orient means you're a racist any more than you are just being current, hip or up to date by thinking your uncomfortable chair might discomfit you.
How much of LHTC is really "follow orders" posing as "do as thou wilt?"
The question is not whether language has to change, but whether lack of education is to be the driving force or whether the need to deceive, persuade or to sell should never be interfered with, that any idea must be allowed to masquerade as something else and most of all the self esteem of the unread should never be risked. Telling us it has to change is more than a way of giving up, it's a way of facilitating deception, interfering with cognitive function and increasing the difficulty of communicating.