The evolving forms of the English language in the 21st Century

In today’s generation, it is quite interesting to note how the evolution of the English language and transformed a newer version of lingua-franca. The following was observed when we were in New South Wales, Australia recently. 

For those who may be familiar with these terms or words, one can’t help but smile. However, for one who hasn’t heard about them – quite an interesting learning experience. The parts of the article is being shared here for purposes of learning the differences of semantics and their meanings, linguistically. The Author and publisher are being acknowledged as the main source of the article.
theTelegraph ( published an article with a title Death of ye olde English is totes tradge” written by 

 September 28, 2012.

The article illustrated some trending genres of the English language forms that are spoken by Australian English speakers. The author observed many instances where speakers do not use the normal forms or traditional word form of the English language. Oftentimes the usual terminology has been shortened. And if you are not familiar of the lingua-franca, you will get confused.

The following are some of the noted words or terminology with their new meanings that are commonly used among Aussies.

Brilliant has been abbreviated to “brill“.
Totes” no longer refers to a bag but rather half of the word totally.
And amazing has copped it on two counts with both “amaze” (a word in itself but no longer used in context) and the ridiculous “amazeballs“.

In the past few weeks I’ve heard fully-grown adults say things like “tradge” instead of tragic, “hilare“, as in a not-so-funny take on hilarious, and “dilem” when referring to a dilemma

The shortcuts to language have even made it into print.
A recent photo caption in a magazine with a target market well above the 18 to 24-year-old category began with “adorbs“. Is that supposed to be adorable? Because it so isn’t. It’s just dumb.

Two women, clearly miles beyond their teenage years, were searching for make up brushes. “Oh look, they have a foundo brush for $8.” I kid you not. A foundation brush is now a foundo brush.

It is not unusual for younger generations to play and re-create other versions of the  language they speak. In the modern times, it is adapted as lingua-franca. It is created with a purpose and they provide new meanings as well as coded form of communication among people who like to belong in a specific genre or group. 

What is lingua franca? A lingua franca (or working language, bridge language, vehicular language) is a language systematically used to make communication possible between people. 

For English language learners, this may become very confusing when they are listening with a group that speak such form of a language. Language Coaches and Teachers must play as the resource to language learners and explain the relevance of these types of language to them. It is essential to identify the psycho-socio-linguistic relevance of this language forms in order to use them coherently, as needed. 

As always, we like to hear of your experiences that relate to this article. Please share them at the comments section provided below or email your comments to: 

To read the complete article, please click on the provided link: “Death of ye olde English is totes tradge” written by 

September 28th 2012


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