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Have you noticed any change in your native language?

These are some of the most recent changes in the English language (my native language):

  • The use of the word “they” as a singular gender-neutral pronoun: this has been around for several centuries and is something that English needs.
  • The change in the meaning of “literally” from “not figuratively” to “virtually” or as an emphatic adverb: lots of people complain about this, but it’s actually the fourth time this sort of change has happened in English’s recorded history.
  • Slow loss of “there are” in favor of “there’s”.
  • Almost complete loss of “whom”: It now actually sounds quite strange. (And it even does in some formal contexts, so it might be completely out of use in a few decades or so.)

Has anyone else noticed any change in your native language? Thanks!

October 9, 2017



an introduction of the words to the websters dictionary include clears throat "twerk," "dab," "selfie," and "yolo." "future," "hope," and "optimism" have recently been removed


It took me a second and then I laughed out loud.


Don't forget fam and bae!


Hi Speir,

In German I noticed a change how we talk about years. Original in german you didn't need "in". We just said "Der erste Besuch war 1985." Than people began more and more to adopt the english version. "Der erste Besuch war in 1985" And nowadays you can hear that everywhere, even in the news where normally very correct german is used. For me it still sounds very weird. Because it's useless in german to use "in" for this kind of sentences.

best regards Angel


I never knew that was bad German. I've said it myself many times but no one has ever corrected it.


Hi Skylar,

it's because it seems to be correct for most of the people. You can hear it in TV, in interwievs with politician and so on. I think it started at the privat TV-commercial broadcaster 10/15 years ago. They took and still take many interwiews from the american partner broadcaster and translateted it frouzy and it became more and more popular. And today it is common to say so. So don't worry it isn't wrong (anymore)

best regards Angel


I didn't know that, thanks!

  • With the rise of the internet there are now a lot of anglicisms in the German language. Not just for internet terms, but for all sorts of words.

  • I didn't really conciously experience the "before", because I think the problem exists longer than my awareness of cases, but the Genitiv in German is slowly dying out "Der Dativ ist dem Genitiv sein Tod". Lots of people use Dativ and forget to use Genitiv even after words like "wegen". I think it's comparable to the loss of whom in English (which I actually use! Maybe because it's a foreign language to me and I'm used to cases anyway. I don't know)


  • The sentence structure after "weil" is often mixed up and started like it's a normal sentence instead of a Nebensatz, e.g. "weil das so ist" commonly turns into "weil das ist so".

  • The use of how to correctly gender professions changes all the time. There was the Binnen-I (SchülerInnen - notice how the I is capitalized) then, a * or a _ making it Schüler*innen or Schüler_innen and I don't know what the current correct form is to be honest and still often use the Binnen-I or alternate words, since a) I'm used to it and b) it has a better flow in texts. But I do know that universities had to change "Studenten" to "Studierende" to make it gender neutral.

ETA the second:

  • completely forgot, but there was a spelling reform in the 90s. Which for me basically meant that I learned a different spelling in elementary school, than what I'd have to use later. Yay, confusion! Photo became Foto, Phantasie changed to Fantasie and the Delphin turned into Delfin and not to forget daß became dass.


Hi Sue,

I agree with you. The genitiv is suffering deeply nowadays. (The books of S.Sick are awesome by the way!) Anglicisms are another story. Very funny are the ones no english native speaker would understand. Like Handy oder handlebar.

Grüsslis Angel


'n Abend Angel!

Yes, Handy is probably the prime example... And it's funny how sometimes American movies are "translated" into another English title for the German audience. Like Mean Girls somehow turned into Girls Club. And there are others that I just don't remember at this hour...

And yes, Sick is awesome! :D


Slang. So, so much slang. Also, the grammar rules have changed completely because of memes, like teens can understand the sentence "whom'st'd't've thought me's shooketh'.


''whom'st'd't've'' XD


Circassian has gained more vowels as a result of Russian borrowing: е, и, о, у. However, their actual vowels /e/, /i/, /o/, /u/ are only pronounced in certain circumstances, otherwise they take on their native Circassian counterparts /ja/, /jə/, /wa/, /wə/ or /əw/.


Note that Circassian is not my native language (sadly). I misread the title but now that I did I realized that I probably would not have responded if I knew the title from the beginning. I don't want to go over the awful changes happening in English.


The new meaning of 'floss'... And 'Fortnite' is now spelled differently and used much more frequently... Plus, everyone's saying, 'like.' And 'guy.'


Like, he beat me is Fortnite so I, like, got super angry. Like, what type of, like, guy does that?


I would push back against the notion that "whom" is anywhere close to "almost completely lost." Personally, I can't help but think its use is getting more robust (I don't think this is actually the case, but it is my perception.) I actually had English grammar in school, one of the few. So I know clearly that in 9th grade I really had no idea how to use "whom." I can only conclude I hadn't heard it much. Now I hear and see it all the time: from news broadcasts to facebook posts from people who, while not uneducated, are certainly not the kind to be putting on over-intellectual airs in their style. I hear and see it enough that when on e.g. a news website where "who" is chosen where "whom" would have been appropriate it frequently feels viscerally unpolished. The details do matter though; the substitution of "who" sounds much more natural in certain environments than others, even apart from occurrences directly following a preposition where, mercifully, almost never does one encounter "who."

And there are even people who dramatically overuse "whom" (relative to what any source on the standard dialect would instruct). Whether this is an example of rampant hypercorrection or an actual dialect characteristic I don't know. The person I know who does it most frequently uses a number of other non-standard forms that are certainly dialectal in origin and not related to hypercorrection.


Mexican spanish slang (for example saying "jefa" to your mother or "no mames") is spreading across all Latin America.

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