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Changing Use of Language

Uploaded by colcame on Mar 19, 1999

I chose to find the entomology of a word that most people can usually not go through a day without using at least once, computer. With the explosion of the personal computer in the last ten years, most households in America own at least one. However, the meaning of the word "computer" has changed in the last century. The word itself is found in text as far back as 1646 when Sir T. Brown said, "The calendars of these computers." The use of "computer" in this sense, as defined by the OED, is one who computes; a calculator, reckoner; a person employed to make calculations in an observatory, in surveying, etc. Then, around 1897, the use of "computer" began to change. In the January 22 edition of Engineering, this usage appeared: "This was... a computer made by Mr. W. Cox. He described it as of the nature of a circular slide rule." This usage began the change of the definition. In the supplement to the OED, "computer" is now defined as a calculating machine; an automatic electronic device for performing mathematical or logical operation. The word "computer" stems from the verb "compute" which came from the French comput-r and the Latin computa-re. It was formed by adding com - together and putare - to clear up, settle, reckon. Together, "compute" means to estimate or determine by arithmetical or mathematical reckoning; to calculate, reckon, count. Then from the word "compute", the suffix "er" was added giving us the definitions we have for computer today. 2) In an effort to further understand language, the field of psycholinguistics formed to study the psychological side of language. Language has many different functions such as communication, expressing emotion, explaining ideas, to create relationships, and recording ideas. Without the use of language, it would be nearly impossible to explain the history of anything. Language allows for the communication that is necessary for survival. It is not only humans who benefit from language either. Bees use a complex system of a dance and buzz to show the hive where to find food, and birds use different chirps to communicate. One psycholinguistic, Hockett, said that all languages have some aspects that are the same at some level which he called Linguistic Universals. One aspect of Linguistic Universals is the broadcast transmission, which says that language is public and that anyone around the message will pick it up. Another aspect of language is...

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Uploaded by:   colcame

Date:   03/19/1999

Category:   Miscellaneous

Length:   4 pages (828 words)

Views:   1881

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