|Saturday, August 4, 2001||
the past, whenever
new concepts emerged, words were conveniently borrowed from other
languages. During the Renaissance especially, with new fields of
knowledge opening up, many new words came from other languages.
Recently, with the influx of the computer and the Internet, English
users are coining more new words to cope with the new concepts. This
could also be a comment upon how we, as a society of language-users,
view language. Earlier, the perspective of both the linguist and the
language-user was prescriptive and rule-based, they worried about what
was right and what was wrong. Today, the perspective is more
descriptive, they get satisfaction by the way the language shapes up
rather than remaining worried about the shape being right or wrong. An
environment of this kind gives users the confidence to coin words or
create neologisms. Neologisms are, at the risk of repetition, new
words and the study of such coinages is called neologiology; which
itself is a neologism.
And who is the person who is often on the Net, practically living on it? A netizen, obviously a blend of citizen and Internet. For the netizen, netiquette is a must. Netiquette, a blend of net and etiquette, is a set of empirically devised rules for getting along harmoniously in the electronic communication environment. Just as a citizen has to cope with jet lag, a netizen copes with net lag. This is slang for slow Internet service, a temporary loss of contact between the Internet user and the server, caused by network delays.
Hindi has taken the word computer from
English and written it in its own script. This is the only change made
in the word. In the case of other words taken from English, often there
is a slight change in meaning. The word team, for example. In English,
team could mean any group working together and not necessarily a group
of players. For Hindi, a team is only a group of players. Maybe with the
current environment of innovation, Hindi too will adopt more meanings of
team. Similarly, for English, a school is any centre of learning. But,
for Hindi, a school is a place where children study.