English Evolution

English has changed from the time of Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary to Macaulay’s and Ray’s call for English education, in matter of fact as long as the needs of English speakers change the language will continue evolving and adapting. For example, Macaulay’s call for English in India school system to be revived. “As language was at its beginning merely oral, all words of necessary of common use were spoken before they were written, and while they were unfixed by any visible signs.” (Johnson P.2) The references to before twice are evident to the changes the English language undertakes often to adapt to the users of the language. For instance when Johnson describes the use being completely oral and there was no visible aspect to speech however the use of “the barbarous jargon” changed when it was reduced to an alphabet. Furthermore, Samuel Johnson describes how it was difficult to say whether the words were immediately received from the Latin or the French, because at the time they had French dominions in France and Latin in their churches. The same issues for this Englishman in 1755 was not the same for the Indians in 1835.

Indian native Hon’ble T.B. Macaulay expressed his concerns on the way the language system was being used. “The words on which the supporters of the old system rely do not bear them out, and other words follow which seem to be quite decisive on the other side. This lakh of rupees is set apart not only for “reviving literature in India,” the phrase on which their whole interpretation is founded, but also “for the introduction and promotion of a knowledge of the sciences among the inhabitants of the British territories”– words which are alone sufficient to authorize all the changes for which I contend.” (Macaulay). Macaulay’s reference to the old system shows evidence that there has been a change of the English language. Macaulay mention of the reviving literature in India was significant to give us an idea of how other members of the Indian public felt. In addition the Indian people needed to the English language for introduction and promotion of a knowledge of the sciences. Thus the people using the English language are evolving and thus the language must adapt from the years of 1755 to 1835.

-Dario Lomeli


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