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1-Page Summary of Words On the Move


Language changes, and the way we speak English has changed a lot. It’s absorbed a lot of words from other languages and innovated in many ways. For example, it’s developed sponge-like qualities that absorb new vocabulary into the language easily. The pronunciation of words is also changing constantly, as well as punctuation. We can’t stop this change; however, it’s important to understand why these things are happening so that we can accept them instead of being upset by them.

Big Idea #1: Emotional self-expression might be new in art, but it’s been central to language since the Dark Ages.

There are many people who want to become artists. This is because art allows self-expression and creativity, which is not the case for most other jobs. In fact, it wasn’t always like that as medieval artists didn’t focus on personal emotions. Instead, they were more interested in questions of human life and religion was a big part of that.

Things started changing around the time Leonardo da Vinci painted Mona Lisa in 1505. The painting is famous for its subject’s coy smile and it has been regarded as marking a new, individualistic era in arts.

In the past, art was focused on religious and political themes. However, in the Renaissance period (14th–17th century), artists began to focus on depicting everyday life and human emotions. This shift is exemplified by Leo Tolstoy’s novel Anna Karenina (1877).

Art has been around for a long time, but individuality and expressing emotions are relatively new to it.

The word “well” has many meanings. The speaker of the early medieval period used it, but spelled it differently. It’s hard to explain what the word means when you’re talking to a toddler because it can mean so many different things depending on the context. For example, if someone asks why horses don’t get eaten by wolves, then you could say that they run fast and use “well” as an adverb.

This statement suggests a way of thinking. The speaker is being nice about someone’s lack of knowledge, which means this four-letter word does a lot to help people out. It lets us fix something without offending the person we’re talking to.

The way we use language is unique because it expresses our feelings and emotions.

Language is subjective. In the following section, we’ll explore how language can influence people’s feelings.

Big Idea #2: Emoticons are just the most recent addition to the emotional arsenal of our language.

Some people worry that emoticons will replace written English.

But that’s not the case. Emoticons are meant to add emotion to text, not replace it!

The way we communicate has changed over time. People used to write more formally than they do now, but texting has made communication much more casual and emotional.

Faxing is similar to email, but there’s a key difference. Faxes were mostly used for technical content like instructions or other information.

Faxes are usually pretty dry. Texting, however, is a different story altogether. A new generation of users has started using technology to communicate in a more personal way.

Emoticons are used to express emotions. They can’t replace writing, but they can add a lot of flavor to text messages and emails. For example, the sentence “Well” is often used in conversation as a way for people to pause before continuing with their thoughts. That’s how emoticons work too—they’re just pictures that represent words or phrases we use all the time like “totally,” “like,” and even “ass.”

The Germans use the word mal to express casualness. The Japanese add ne to the end of sentences, but it’s difficult to determine what those words mean.

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Words On the Move Book Summary, by John McWhorter