Thursday, October 15, 2009

G Block: Shakespeare and the Degradation of Language


Most teachers and students agree that Shakespeare is challenging to read. Some are even surprised to learn that he falls into the category of Modern English (as opposed to Old or Middle). If his language is rich, layered and thoughtful, what is our language like? Have we moved forward as speakers of English, or are we destroying- even "dumbing-down"- a once gloriously imaginative tongue?


Respond in a well developed, proofread paragraph. Support your response with specific facts and examples.

22 comments:

Jake said...

Jacob Nordbeck Shakespeare in my opinion is difficult. Mainly because of the different tongue. They spoke different back then more formal and complicated. In our day theirs slang and siber language which would make our language today less proper. If we were to talk to someone from that time period in slang they would look at us like we were foreign. I don’t think that we are dumbing our language down oppose to changing it to something that is a little more fluent and easier to understand.

Anonymous said...

Corey Marsden
English G


Shakespeare’s language is very rich, layered, and thoughtful. Our English is also very rich but not as much as Shakespeare’s English. We have become lazy and because of this, so has our language. Our language is not growing and moving forward. Because of technology and things like that we have developed slang for almost every word. On the other hand, also because of technology we have a much wider vocabulary range. We have a lot more words than Shakespeare because of our technology and that could be one reason our English is growing. Other than that we are destroying our English.

Anonymous said...

English has taken on a new meaning since Shakespeare’s time. Shakespeare’s language was more eloquent than how ours is. Our language is getting more and more simple as years go on. People today no longer care how they spell or their grammar like people used to. Now when we txt we’ll say “r u tlking to her” instead of “Are you talking to her?”. The difference is the spelling and the grammar. I feel that we are “dumbing down” our language. Shakespeare’s language was more complicated than how ours is used today. He would say “Have you importuned him by any means?” –Benvolio. We would just say “Have you talked to him about it?” Back then they used more meaningful words than what we use today. I feel that they mean more about what they say then what we do. We use short and uncaring words than what they said. I do think that we are killing a once very pretty and imaginative language.

~Rachel Smith
Period G English

Anonymous said...

The way Shakespeare talked and wrote was classified as Modern English. However, we do not talk the way he did, which can considered “dumbing-down” the language he spoke. Today, our language is very complex, but the words have become very simple. A few examples include text messages, instant messages, and the way people talk. Also, our language is mainly made up of small words and the consonants make the language sound very harsh. When people text and send instant messages they abbreviate a lot and don’t write complete sentences. When people are talking we often abbreviate words like because “cuz”. If we continue to just shorten our words and sentences then we will start abbreviating abbreviations. This will lead us to talking like robots with short sounds that will destroy the English language.

- Dave Couming G English

Anonymous said...

The way Shakespeare talked and wrote was classified as Modern English. However, we do not talk the way he did, which can considered “dumbing-down” the language he spoke. Today, our language is very complex, but the words have become very simple. A few examples include text messages, instant messages, and the way people talk. Also, our language is mainly made up of small words and the consonants make the language sound very harsh. When people text and send instant messages they abbreviate a lot and don’t write complete sentences. When people are talking we often abbreviate words like because “cuz”. If we continue to just shorten our words and sentences then we will start abbreviating abbreviations. This will lead us to talking like robots with short sounds that will destroy the English language.

- Dave Couming Period G

norton341 said...

In a way our language is more sophisticated. Back then they put some words into together instead of being two words. Now we have bigger words than back then and ones that sound a lot different. Some people may think we are moving forward as speakers and some people may think we aren't. I don't think we are “dumbing-down” because if we were “dumbing-down” then we wouldn't have those big words and definitions. I would rather talk the way we do now then how they talked in the day of Shakespeare because some of the things they say are really confusing but I guess if we were born in that time then we would know it better since everyone would be talking like that. They would probably not be able to pronounce some of the words we have today but they would be able to pronounce the simple ones. Our language is not as is not as rich and layered as Shakespeare's.
By: Titus Fonseca

Anonymous said...

English has taken on a new meaning since Shakespeare’s time. Shakespeare’s language was more eloquent than how ours is. Our language is getting more and more simple as years go on. People today no longer care how they spell or use their grammar like people used to. Now when we txt we’ll say “r u tlking to her” instead of “Are you talking to her?”. The difference is the spelling and the grammar. I feel that we are “dumbing down” our language. Shakespeare’s language was more complicated than how ours is used today. He would say “Have you importuned him by any means?” –Benvolio. We would just say “Have you talked to him about it?” Back then they used more meaningful words than what we use today. I feel that they mean more about what they say then what we do. We use short and uncaring words than what they said. I do think that we are killing a once very pretty and imaginative language.

~Rachel Smith
Period G English

Anonymous said...

Katie Sullivan
October 15, 2009
Block: G
Shakespeare has a very confusing way of expressing the English language. When he writes his plays I have noticed that some words get cut so not the whole word is pronounced. For example the word “over” when Shakespeare wrote plays they say “o’er.” If you didn’t know that it should be pronounced like “over” then it could be confusing for you to understand what it exactly means. Another word that is said that could be confusing to people is “thou” meaning “you.” If someone were to read a play that Shakespeare wrote and the saw the word “thou” they might not know it means “you.” Now the English language has become easier for people to understand. Many people are becoming “lazy” so they do not want to write out the whole word in emails or text messaging they will abbreviate words. For example the word “that” would be “tht.” Another thing is that many people will write the first letters of each word of a phrase and people understand what they are talking about. For example “talk to you later” would become “ttyl.” One more example is now when writing an email or texting you can say full words as just a letter. An example of that would be the word “you” could be written as just “u.” I think that English now should be a little more like English from Shakespeare’s time. I think this because then the language wouldn’t be as confusing as what Shakespeare has written, but not as “lazy” as modern English. That is what I think about modern English from a few hundred years ago compared to modern English today.

Anonymous said...

Miranda Donato G block 10/15/09
I think that the English language today has taken a huge step back. When Shakespeare was around, the English language was beautiful and rich. In his plays the words sound almost like a riddle, because you have to break down the quotes to figure out there hidden meanings. You have to see the thought behind his words. Today we speak lazily. Although we have more words than we use to, we have still taken a step backwards. We shorten our words when we talk, and especially with texting. We are so lazy we don’t even bother spelling things out anymore. We also don’t bother with grammar as much as we probably should. Shakespeare had a way of making things sound beautiful and mysterious. Our language today doesn’t really have much of a secret meaning behind the words. It doesn’t take much, anymore, to figure out what we are trying to get across. If you ask me, we are defiantly destroying the English language. Maybe we could fix it again if we stop paraphrasing everything, and take the time to make our language sound intelligent again. If we took that time, then it probably wouldn’t be as hard to read Shakespeare’s plays. That is why I think that the English language has taken a big step back for us.

Anonymous said...

Jess Dowdy
10/15/09
Block G

I think that we are both destroying our English language but also moving forward. I believe this because our language is very complex and is constantly changing. As we move forward, new words and new definitions are created. With this we are moving forward. Although, our language is also being destroyed. We abbreviate when taking notes, texting, and talking on the computer. Speaking and writing like this is taking a big step backwards from Shakespearian times. Shakespeare had spoken and written much more complex than how many people do today. Many people do think that his plays are very hard to read and understand, but is that because our writing is more complex today, or is it because we’re moving backwards? I believe that it is because we are slightly moving backwards, because we are lazy. I think that everyone has the knowledge to learn but people are too lazy to take the time. If people today had just randomly decided to read a play by Shakespeare they would find it difficult, but if they took the time and analyzed the words he was saying and thought it all through, many more people could understand his plays and it would move us up a big step in modern English.

Anonymous said...

Juliana Ahern 10/15/09 Period G



The language used in Shakespeare's time is very different than the language used today. Today, the language is more complex than the language used hundreds of years ago. In the language we use today, for example, uses many synonyms for different words. The English language is considered one of the hardest languages to learn. My grandmother explained to me that learning English was difficult when she moved to America. Also, my mom even said that she still is learning. I think the English language has been "destroyed" over the years. With Shakespeare's writing, the language might seem challenging for current readers because some of the words aren't used or don't even exist anymore.

Anonymous said...

Compared to Shakespeare's language I think our language is a lot more sloppy and we use more slang. I think we have moved backwards as English speakers. During Shakespearean time the language was much more complex and intricate. Today we speak simply and lazily using slang like legit for legitimately or cause for because. We also got lazy by using acronyms while texting or instant messaging like idk for I don't know or brb for be right back. I do think our language is dumbing-down because we are not as concerned about the way we speak and how sophisticated and it sounds. Our language is just extremely different compared to Shakespeare's language even though they are both modern English.

-Danielle Puopolo

Anonymous said...

C Desautel
Bloakc: G
10/15/09
I believe that Shakespeare is a challenging read for us in the category of Modern English. In our language today, we basically abbreviate everything. For example, we say “cuz” instead of saying the full word “because”. We somehow find a way to cheat the language. We do that by either by shortening the word or saying it differently. I don’t think we have moved forward as speakers. I think that we have actually moved back and are somewhat being lazy with the way we speak. We don’t talk anything like what Shakespeare spoke. When I read Shakespeare I think that it sounds like a foreign language. For example when he says “thou desirest me to stop in my tale against the hair”. There are a lot of big words that I don’t understand the meaning of. I feel like when Shakespeare wrote all of his plays, he found that the language was as easy as we think ours is.

colton5294 said...

Most teachers and students agree that Shakespeare is challenging to read. Some are even surprised to learn that he falls into the category of Modern English (as opposed to Old or Middle). If his language is rich, layered and thoughtful, what is our language like? Have we moved forward as speakers of English, or are we destroying- even "dumbing-down"- a once gloriously imaginative tongue?


I think we've been "dumbing-down" the English language significantly. I think ever since we started the "text" language its been getting worse. Shakespeare had an extravagant language that we are totally destroying. We are abbreviating way more words than we need to. For example, if we want to say that we thought something was funny we say "LOL"(Laugh out Loud). This new language we are creating is definitely ruining our original language. Plus, we sound even more dumb than we look. I definitely think we are "dumbing-down" our language.

Anonymous said...

The old English language is very different then the language we speak today. The words back then were very difficult to understand and speak. The reason for this is because now a days we abbreviate most things we say, and back then they said everything out. Another thing that is difficult about the old English language is the way you pronounce it and the spelling. For example, it may be spelt one way and said another, you can never be exactly sure on how it is pronounced. Also, in my own opinion I would say that we have moved back instead of moving forward as speakers of the English language. This is because we tend to be lazy and abbreviate things instead of taking the time to spell them out. Lastly I would like to say that our language is very easy to speak. Most things are pronounced the way the way they are spelt, unlike the old English language, which as I said before can be hard to pronounce because most things are spelt different then they are pronounced. In conclusion I would like to say that this is the way I see how the English language has moved back instead of moving forward.


-Brittany Gillon
Period: G

xnikkix22x said...

I believe that the English language is moving backwards. A lot of people abbreviate words in either using aim/aol or text messaging because they don’t want to take the time and spell out the actual word. Although, it’s improving because people can understand our language more than what Shakespeare used.

Nicole A.

Sarah Buchan said...

Shakespeare's language was very rich, and filled with detail. Whenever Shakespeare wrote he would embellish his readers with details upon details. Shakespeare falls into the category of the Modern English language, instead of Old or Middle. Shakespeare is very challenging to read and comprehend because our current language is shortened, or abbreviated language. In our current language, we tend to shorten things and not add as much detail. Shakespeare on the other hand used many adjectives to add more effect. As speakers of the English language, I don't think we have quite moved backwards, rather than moving forwards. I think that we "modernized" the English language. I do think the language Shakespeare spoke was more formal, and sounded more pleasant than how we speak now. As mentioned earlier, we are not quite "dumbing-down" the English language, it will change as time passes on. People in a time period before Shakespeare could have thought the language he spoke was "dumbing-down" the Middle English language, or Old English language. Honestly the language has changed over the years but that doesn't mean its not as sophisticated as language before our time.

Sarah Buchan
G Block
10/15/09

Hannah Eckman said...

Shakespeare's language is rich, layered and thoughtful, but it is filled with a lot of detail. His writing is very complex and challenging. He falls into the category of Modern English as oppossed to Old or Middle. Our language compared to Shakespeare's language is lazy and dull. We were brought up to learn the language in a simpilar way. We tend to use abbreviations and shorter or slang versions of a word to cut down on our vocabulary. When we text we use "LOL,BRB,BTW" for a shorter way of actually stating the word. I feel as though we have and have not moved forward as speakers of English. Even though Shakespeare has very complex and challenging literay terms, we have more words to the English Language than when Shakespeare was around. As of us destroying or even "dumbing-down" the language, I feel as though we have. I feel as though we are destroying the language because there are not too many people who still use Shakespeare's literature for an everyday liking. We now use easier and less complicated terms. Even though our language is not as complex as Shakespeare's language it does not mean that it is not advanced.

Hannah Eckman
G-Block
10-15-09

Anonymous said...

I think that the book Romeo and Juliet is harder for us to read because it took place about a hundred years ago so they understand it. As life goes on the English tongue has changed over and over, their English has faded away and we adapted to present English. If they read one of our books they would think it’s crazy and it’s the same problem for us. I also think that our English is starting to get lazy like abbreviations, but we have so many words that can mean the same thing. I agree that it is a vary hard book to read -- Quincy Rego

Anonymous said...

Brittany Alioto
10/15/09
G


The English language is being destroyed. It was once a beautiful and complex language and now it’s a language influenced by text messages. English from Shakespeare’s time is complex and often hard to understand, but if you took that time to understand it you would probably realize that it is a beautiful, and thoughtful. The English that we speak and the English that Shakespeare spoke (and wrote in) has many differences. For instance,” My only love sprung from my only hate! To early seen unknown, and known too late...” Today we would not say this phrase the same. It would sound more like; the only one I love is the only one I hate. I saw him before I knew he was the one that I must hate. Obviously, there is a difference. The language of English is being destroyed! It started out as a rich language as transformed into a particularly boring language.

Anonymous said...

I think that the English language is declining. Everyone is becoming lazier and lazier when we talk, write, and most of all text messaging. For example, the phrase “be right back” would be said “brb” or “ laugh out loud” would be said “lol”. The reason I think the English language is declining, because this is such an efficient way to speak that pretty soon we will make every word shorter. Before we know it in a couple hundred years we would be able to understand how we talk today, and that the same reason why people say that Shakespeare’s writing is so hard to understand.

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