One of my friends actually wrote that message last week: Please don't tweet my Facebook page. And I realized how completely incomprehensible it would be to anyone from a past generation--heck, to anyone ten years ago.
I know that language is constantly developing but I'm sure that during the Middle Ages they didn't have to learn a new vocabulary every ten years. An ox was an ox. An ass was an ass. Beer was beer. Life was simple and didn't change. Even when I was growing up there were people in my village who had never been up to London, some 30 miles away. Their lives progressed at the same pace as their ancestors' had done.
I suppose radio and then TV changed all that. Suddenly we are aware of what the rest of the world is doing. Of what is trending.... and that is one trend of which I am not fond... the fashion of turning nouns into verbs. Neither am I fond of shrinking speech and vocabulary to minimum. Wassup? is a classic example. As is R U my BFF?
This is one of the reasons I enjoy setting my books in the past. My grandmother and great aunts had excellent vocabularies, spoke in long poetic sentences and wrote wonderfully descriptive letters. Letter writing was an art for them. Letters flowed between family members every week, taking the place of phone calls and texts. I'm sure my grandmother never used words such as "like" and "you know" or worse still "know what I mean?" We did know what she meant because she had been raised to express herself clearly.
I have to remember this when I write my books. There was more time. Personal interactions were not rushed. Conversation was an art. People were well read in books that didn't have to rush to the punch line and have explosions and dead bodies all over the place. A time of leisure and grace. Ah, how I long for it now.
So how do you feel? Do you wish we'd lived in a more leisurely age? I suppose I have to remind myself that they had no antibiotics and your child might die from an infected cut or the flu. They had no washing machines and wore the same dresses for months on end. And they traveled over bumpy roads on metal tires, and childbirth...well, we won't even go into that one.