Google tells me that around 85pct of Old English words are no longer used. This is quite a revelation to me and seems our vocabulary is disappearing at an alarming rate, words and phrases are being stolen from other languages whilst repeatedly being re-invented.
Browsing through some of the words that we have lost and no longer use, is heart-breaking. Our diction has now been ‘Frankensteined’. Words seem to have disappeared as they lose favour with the youngsters of today, many or whole sentences have been replaced with slang or urban speak. Personally, I think our English is now wacky. According to the trusted Readers Digest, their observations state that our language is complicated and rules don’t seem to be making any sense. Text talk is now a staple in today’s communications – okay, okay I admit, I use these abbreviations myself, through laziness. Contradictions have become the norm and astonishingly, many have been added to our dictionaries.
Here are some of my favourites, that have become obsolete and vanished into the ether:
Crapulous – to feel ill after eating/drinking too much. This is a word me thinks will now become a part of my everyday existence.
Kerfuffle – to make a fuss. Love this one.
Discombobulated – to befuddle or dumbfound. A front runner with hubby, he says this reminds him of me.
Tittynope – a small quantity of something left over. Gotta love this one.
Twattle – mindless gossip. Mmm can’t think why this would catch my eye.
Hornswoggle – a scam or con.
I could go on with these wonderful terms, certainly made me smile.
In years gone by, certain phrases had different connotations. For instance:
Bunny – an old English word for squirrel, not a rabbit.
Nice – began as a negative term for ignorant or foolish.
Gay – carefree, cheerful, bright and showy.
Ambidextrous – someone who took bribes from both sides in a legal action, two faced.
However, back to today. Just a few examples of how our youngster’s converse:
Prolly – probably
Funner – it’s fun – I hate this term.
Dope – cool or awesome.
Yolo – you only live once.
Karen – disparaging description of a petty middle-aged woman, who is rude. This made me chuckle.
From researching, I can honestly say, that in 50 years’ time, I have no idea where our language will be, perhaps the wonderfully talented, and missed, Roald Dahl knew more than he let on when he created the BFG and his silly words. Maybe our future generation could learn a lot from the BFG, at least I could understand him and he refused to hurt humans!