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Change Is Growth

By Favour Chiagozie Ebubechukwu
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"...a language that fails to change with time would soon be out of existence. Very often, the Latin language is referred to as a dead language, and its death has been attributed to its resistance to change. This does not mean that we do not use Latin expressions in our essays, today, but, there are no identifiable people on earth in this 21st century that are native users of the language known..."

The English Language has changed over time as it is often divided into the:

1) Old English Period,
2) Middle English Period, and
3) Modern English.
It is also becoming a global language as it adapts to any society it's found in. And so there are different types of Englishes: Australian English, British English, American English, Indian English, Canadian English, Nigerian English, etc.

Change is a crucial part of growth and relevance. I encourage you and me to embrace change, especially in this post-pandemic time, and see it as a tool to becoming a new version of ourselves.

Also, the speakers of English are classified into three categories:

ENL( English as a native language),
ESL (English as a second language),and
EFL (English as a foreign language).
Countries that have English as their native language include: America, British. They are called the NORM PROVIDERS. This is because, they form the basis of the language for emulation.

Countries that speak English as a second language are non-native speakers of the language that use it as their lingua franca– language of education, government, commerce, entertainment, law, etc. This countries are called NORM EVOLVING. They include countries like: Nigeria, Ghana, India, etc. They are called NORM evolving because they influence the language to a large extent to suit their use of it.

Countries that speak English as a foreign language (EFL) are countries that use English language mainly for foreign affairs, while they maintain their own native languages as their lingua franca. They are called the NORM ABIDING because they depend on the native speakers of English (NORM PROVIDERS) for proper use of English, since they learn and not acquire the language.

Acquisition has to do with gaining fluency and mastery of a spoken language in a natural setting and an informal way while learning is done in a formal setting with a structured curriculum. EFL countries include: China, Japan, Indonesia, Iraq, Iran, etc.

Although this is a teaching in the context of linguistics, we can draw insight from the NORM EVOLVING context. They take this new language (English) and influence it to fit their cultural situation. For example, the sentence 'he is not on seat' is a Nigerian English, which is supposed to mean he is not available or he is not around. Also, words like 'gate' and 'oil' are mostly pronounced as 'get' and 'hoil' or 'oyel' depending on the speakers' geographical location in Nigeria.

What is more, the Nigerian Pidgin is largely filled with the English Language vocabulary and is still undergoing constant modification. For example, 'him bin dey wash when him phone dey ring'.The NORM EVOLVERS do not just copy and paste. They leave their imprints on the language .This is not to say that the various kinds of ESL have been standardized, but, to point to the reason why a huge range or class of people can speak and understand the English language in these countries apart from the elite . Meanwhile, some Nigerian words like fufu and danfo have been included into the dictionary, recently.

When we get clues or ideas externally, we shouldn't just copy and paste. It seems better to copy, edit, twerk it, edit again before 'pasting'. Like a HR professional, Mr. Yemi Faseun, will say: That way, we will be living interdependently, yet, with an obvious sense of our various unquiness, for CHANGE IS GROWTH.