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Newsletter - November 2007  
"You're just playing with Semantics II"

(The Shock of the New).

This is just a short follow up article to the previous month's subject of what and how people use the content of language.

By a complete coincidence, My mobile phone operator recently changed their answerphone 'voice'. Since they started in the late 80's, a familiar home counties voice announced to me regularly that;

"You have NO new messages".

Now though, a new voice for a new generation has been substituted. I am witnessing the inevitable change and the conscious shift in the evolution of language. The Home Counties or RP accent of which I am so familiar has been replaced by a modified 'Estuary English' voice which does sound more contemporary. The vowels are flatter and the intonation is very 'noughties'.

It also signals a change in society since the language reflects society in what it says and believes.

Most would ponder the change as a signal for either good or bad; Perhaps the letting go of one generation's influence to the next.

It can be useful to use a technique called time-lining to reflect upon change. Imagine we go now into the future 700 years. What would the world be like? More importantly what would the people be like?

Maybe people will still be eating, swearing, loving, hating, mothering & fathering, getting, making ...and more... That far-future perspective may in fact, give us a perspective on how we live now and perhaps, what really is important in our lives.

Just a thought.

More soon


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