A language monitoring group linked here says that “Web 2.0” is now in common parlance and is English’s one millionth word. There seems to be some controversy surrounding the announcement.
I can only imagine two balding and bespectacled linguists duking it out in the library stacks over the Web 2.0 designation. As for me, I’m in favor !
The Web 2.0 debate does bring up some interesting concepts. Should slang, geek terminology, jargon, etc. be considered part of the official English lexicon?? Some language mavens say yes–others no. I am tempted to join the naysayers. Geekspeak has, I believe, dumbed down the language (as has rap and most pop culture slang). The writing of columnists in the daily paper now sounds about like conversation on the high school quad. (Like, really, peoples, that’s so wrong…Don’t be dissin’ me NOOb, etc.)
English, ie Anglo-saxon, was fairly dumb to start with– a pidgen dialect for farmers, sailors, rogues from west germany, Denmark, etc –Plattdeutsch. (The word “Word” itself from gr. “Wort”). With Normandy invasion many latinate/french words were added to the anglo: French was official language of English nobles, courts, etc. The catholics–in control of England until that chubby tyrant Henry VIII took control, and started liquidating priests, monks, nuns, etc–considered the local dialects (if not northern languages as a whole) the work of the devil, more or less: plebes who dared to translate the Vulgate into Anglo were burnt at the stake.
That would be a bit extreme for the linguists who specialize in slang, jargon, dialects–and latin grammar pretty much a museum piece now–, yet there’s something to say about retaining a certain degree of formality to the language, even to Englische, Der Piratezungen.