In recent decades however the word has taken on the meaning homosexual As a

In recent decades however the word has taken on the

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happy, lighthearted. In recent decades, however, the word has taken on the meaning homosexual. As a result, English speakers in countries such as New Zealand, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States don't use the original meaning anymore, and young speakers of English may not even be familiar with the traditional meaning. In other cases, words may take on additional meanings. One must understand the context to understand the meaning. An example is the word hardware, which is used to refer to the tools and materials employed in repairing and building houses. Today, the word also refers to computers and components that can be added to a computer, such as a printer or an extra drive. Foreigners and U.S. citizens who have lived outside the United States for some time may not be familiar with subtle changes in language usage. Twenty years ago, words such as businessman, chairman, salesman, airline stewardess, and fireman were used regularly. Today, with more women in the workforce and with growing awareness of the way gender and power can be linked to communicate value, gender-neutral terms such as businesspeople, chairperson or chair, sales clerk, flight attendant, and firefighter are common. The old terminology is seen as too restrictive. Countries such as France and Iceland try to keep their language pure. The French have the Academie Francaise to police the language and ensure that businesses use pure French. But even in France the language changes. The officials may frown on Franglais, but people in France eat a sandwich, go on a trip for le weekend, and go on le jogging, all pronounced in the French manner with the accent on the last syllable. To use English is "chic," and somehow the English terms seem to be more precise and descriptive. French Canadians make the Academie Francaise really nervous when they use char for car and many other English words in their French. French Canadians do not feel compelled to follow the rules of the Academie Francaise. The example of Canadian French illustrates that a language, if spoken in different parts of the globe, ultimately will develop differently. The Academie Francaise may insist on certain rules, but other French-speaking groups may make their own rules and consider their French just as correct. The same is true for the development of English. What is standard and correct English? Former British colonies such as India and Nigeria increasingly insist that their English is just as correct as Oxford English. The result is the emergence of different "Englishes" used in different parts of the world. Much attention recently has focused on "Singlish"—the English of Singapore that incorporates Malay and the Hokkien dialect of Chinese as well as English words, and follows a syntax like that of other "pidgen" Englishes. The following are three examples of Singlish: • Eh, this road so narrow, how you going to tombalik your big fat Mareseedeese? You going to do 100-point turn or what? Sekali tombalik into the lang-kau your father kill you then you know! (Oh, this road is so narrow, how are you going to turn around your big fat
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