The current discussion of language technologies and their impact on languages concentrates mostly on quality. Developers around the world are working very hard to make their innovations more capable of producing grammatically correct language because the usefulness of these innovations is evaluated through the quality. Still millions of people use all sorts of language technologies everyday in spite of the imperfect quality.
Grammar books are a relatively new invention in the history of languages. When someone decided to write down the rules of a language suddenly the whole concept changed. Languages were born because people wanted to communicate with each others, while grammar highlights ‘the correct way’ to use a language. The vehicle became more important than the destination.
However, it is true that writing and reading skills have been one of the most important things in the human history. They have made it possible to learn and share information. The lack of these skills (among other factors) still maintains inequality in the world. Up to the point where people learn to understand and become understood the grammar is important, but after that the protective attitude towards language use becomes harmful.
It is very common that languages evolve and are influenced by other languages. When looking far enough to the history you’ll see that often the current spelling of almost any word isn’t original at all. If you read a very old book which is written in your language it is possible that you don’t understand it. The style may feel complicated and the words old-fashioned. There is a change that you even notice that some of the old words sound almost like some other language. The origin of words is in fact often strongly tied to other languages.
Languages have interacted with each others in the past, and will do that in the future too. No matter how much we’d like to think that the world we’re living in today represents the ultimate truth, our time is only a snapshot in an infinite continuum. So will the languages be ever ready? Will people one day have everything they’ll ever need to communicate with each others? I doubt it.
We’re going to need new words for all the new gadgets and ideas and technologies that we invent. New bonds and relationships are built between different cultures when we keep growing our networks. We might find useful words in other languages, or we might notice that the right way to say something doesn’t carry the message correctly over the culture barriers. This is why we need to break the grammar rules if it’s necessary. As long as the goal is achieved there’s no right or wrong way to use a language.
The unrealistic expectations shouldn’t hold us back and prevent making new language technology innovations which could help many people’s lives. In our daily communication, quality is important but the message goes always on top of the list.
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