Language is a dynamic phenomenon which changes and grows with every use and every user. And this holds all the more true for a language like English which has become a global language. English has as many versions as its users and the number is growing by the day. This has definitely added to the language and made it grow. But this growth in scope, acceptance and use of the language has also seen a fall in quality.
Any language is aimed at communication and so far as it communicates fully and correctly the desired meaning it is considered appropriate; and English is no exception. However, we often miss to consider the structure of the language throwing grammar and syntax to the winds and thus the “appropriate” language lands up in misappropriations of “high order” by some “high end” users: letter from an executive of a placement consultant reads, “We are take consultants…”; a university student while giving his opinion on a topic says, “I don’t think so that exams enforce…”.
In many cases such misappropriations are the mere slips of pen or tongue; but there is no dearth of people who don’t really care about the ‘correctness’ of the language they use either due to the lack of knowledge of the language or because of their indifference.
Language, no doubt, is a tool of communication and expression; but we should not forget that it is also an entity in itself having a dignity of it’s own. We all need to learn to respect the language. And the best way would be to start at the school level. In schools, grammatical and syntactical mistakes made by the students are checked only in the language paper; whereas in other subjects, where also the medium of expression is definitely language, such mistakes are overlooked. An awareness regarding the proper and correct use of language needs to be created by ensuring correct and proper use of language, especially in media and public fields so that the very exposure to the language is correct and proper. After all it is through exposure that we learn and acquire the most and language is no exception.
English is the international language. If you know English, you will be able to work your way through almost anywhere in the world. Not that all knowledge is available only in English language; but everything latest becomes available in this language before it ceases to be the latest. This is why most people want to learn English.
What poses a major problem with learning English as a second language is that it is a language with deep orthography: the written form of this language does not perfectly symbolize its spoken form. This also limits an ESL (English as Second Language) learner from picking up the correct pronunciations.
Knowing the sound symbols of such a language can help a great deal in reading words correctly and thus getting the pronunciations right.
In the next article I’ll talk about the basic phonetics of English Language and improving English pronunciations.