Technology has changed the way we use language

Technology has changed the way we work and play, and even write and speak ("What will the English language be like in 100 years?"; Nov 15).

Young learners of the English language who are exposed to a barrage of adulterated cyberspeak spellings may take liberties when writing school compositions.

They may be so used to taking "b4" to mean "before" that it may even be spelt that way in formal writing.

Any teacher would tell you that it is more difficult to undo an entrenched wrong than to teach learners from a clean slate.

Even old school learners like me take the easy way out. We rely on the computer's spellcheck function to clean up after us.

Cyberspeak has also seeped into our vocabulary. A new social media platform has given us a new word, "tweet", which can be used as both a verb and noun.

The Han language has not been spared. Computer software has saved us from rote learning strokes to put a Chinese character together.

In the absence of such software, we can hardly put our thoughts on paper. In fact, I have become rusty in the language in this respect due to an overreliance on technology.

We never fail to evolve, so it seems. Given time, we may meld all languages into one to keep up with technology. We will then all be true global citizens. And this is from m2u (me to you).

Lee Teck Chuan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on November 29, 2015, with the headline 'Technology has changed the way we use language'. Print Edition | Subscribe