What language do we speak?

As everyone knows, languages are living organisms which have a life on their own. They are born, they grow and develop, some of them die as it was the case with Latin and Greek for example.
As all living creatures, during their lives, languages influence and are influenced by costumes, trends, events in different ways.

In recent years, the Internet and the Social Media have deeply affected Italian language not only in speaking but also in writing at such an alarming rate that famous public figures have given voice to their personal concern about the future of Italian culture and “understandability”, so to say.

President Sergio Mattarella  at the inauguration of the Academic Year at the University of Siena on 15 November 2021 speaking about the importance of the PNRR suddenly stopped and looking at the Rector with an amazing tone couldn’t help himself to say that a study on acronyms and their impact on communication would certainly be useful. “Do acronyms facilitate communication, are they understandable to all?”

Let’s consider the intricate language we hear at school every day, PTOF, PDP, PON, ATA, PFI, BES, DSA… what language are we talking, actually?

English is affecting Italian as well in almost every field in such a pervasive way that it is almost impossible to utter a sentence without an English word.  Italian premier Mario Draghi during his visit at the Fiumicino Vaccination Centre on 12 March 2021 describing the actions against COVID-19 started talking about babysitting and smart-working. Impressive enough for a politician like him who can speak very good English, he paused and amusingly looking at the audience wondered whether it was the case to use English massively as we are doing now.

In conclusion, lots of people use words without even understanding their real meaning and of course this creates misunderstanding, misuse and a sort of abuse.

The old adage “Speak the way you eat” is still valid.   

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Roberta Cantarella, Thomas Rapisarda, Valeria Di Mauro


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