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A Look At English's Past And Future

Is English heading towards a hieroglyphic era? 🤨😱😱

By Deasun T. SmythPublished 4 months ago 3 min read
Top Story - June 2023
A Look At English's Past And Future
Photo by chaitanya pillala on Unsplash

We’ve all seen those Egyptian hieroglyphics in tombs and temples. Those hieroglyphics represented a number of ideas and sounds and concepts. But is English heading towards this kind of future?

Y’know, emojis…

We already use emojis in most of our regular use (I don’t really use them because I don’t have a phone, but I’ve seen enough of them to understand what most of them mean). Either we use them independently, or combined with our sentences.

Example: “Keep you dog of my lawn! 🏠 🐕🤬🔪🔪☠️⚰️!”

Example: “Bless Canada. 🇨🇦😇”.

Example: “I am very sick. 🤢🤢🤮🤧⚰️”.

Example: “please don’t hurt my dog! 🥺 🐕 🚮🔪☠️⚰️”.

If this language were to be a real language, all it needs is a new conlang!

Each emoji would express an idea and/or a sound. Now, most emojis are used mostly for describing adjectives:

“😀 Happy”, “🥰 In love”, “😂 tears of joy”, “🥺 pleading”. “🤥is a lier”, “😡 very mad”, “😵 is dizzy”, “🥶 very cold”, “🥵 very hot”, “😭 very sad”.

But there is also nouns:

“🏠 house”, “💩 faeces”, “🐕 dog”, “🐈 cat”, “🐉 dragon, mythical”, “💵 money”,

And verbs:

“✍🏼 to write”, “🗣 to speak”, “👀 to see”, “💋 to kiss”, “🙏🏼 to pray”.

Because we’re already so used to emojis, it won’t be hard to write entire sentences with them. Linguistics have studied languages, and learned that they evolve over time. In fact, 500 years from now, English could sound very, very different. And tracing down the evolution of language is interesting.

For example: 500 years ago; initial k– and g– ceased to be pronounced before n (as in knight, gnaw) as did initial w– before r (as in write) and medial –t– in such words as thistle and listen. final –b and –g ceased to be pronounced after nasal consonants (lamb, hang).

Now if there’s one thing we all know, and that’s that English makes no sense when you spell. If we spelled words phonetically instead of the old way, words will look very different.

“Scale / skeɪl” “word / wəːd” “ nasal /neɪz(ə)l” “language / laŋɡwɪdʒ” “money / mʌni”

And sentences sound very different. Bellow is an example of old-english.

Bob: “Wes hāl, Hu eart þú?” (“Hello, How are you?”)

Bill: “Iċ þancie þē” (the reply to ‘how are you?’)

Bob: “Hū hāttest þū?” (“What’s your name?”)

Bill: “Iċ hātte Bill” (“My name is Bill”)

Bob: “Wes hāl” (“Goodbye”)

Yes, that is real English, it’s just that over the years native speakers change definitions, and morphology. At first glance, it seems like a foreign language from a distant island, but that’s the language your ancestors spoke (if you are English).

Who knows? Maybe in the future we’ll spell words phonetically, instead of middle english-like. And because humans tend to be lazy, we will most likely use emojis more often, instead of having to type all those keys. It’s quick and easier way to do things.

And we already shorten words, so as time progresses, words will become more compact, and smaller.

Y’know, who’s, aren’t, doesn’t, won’t, can’t, isn’t, ain’t, shan’t, mustn’t, I’ll, we’ll

Maybe 500 years from now, we would have talked like the ‘old’ day people.

A language of emojis could theoretically exist. But, learning them would take a long time, and learning how each one relates to each other would take even longer. But because images and faces are hard-wired into our brain it would make sense for an advanced society. Thought and action would be simplified, and talking entire sentences could just be one emoji. Language doesn’t change all at once, but steadily over time. Like a mother teaching her child how to spell a word, but the mother uses memory. So the word ‘wolf’ might be spelt ‘wolfe’, which explains surnames.

Emojis would eliminate the cumbersome use of spelling entire words. And if people continue to use emojis, it will help shape the future of the English language.


About the Creator

Deasun T. Smyth

I’m a First Nations 16 year old young man, probably an old soul (not that there's anything wrong with that). I live in Saskatchewan, and I love reading, writing, conlanging, and learning new and interesting facts.

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Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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Comments (11)

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  • Not Anais2 months ago

    wow, good job, amazing, spectacular, fantastic, fabulous wonderful, great, 🥳💯🎉🔥🤩😱🤯👏👌🫵

  • Accurate Article and on considerable levels of intelligence ❤️‍🔥😉📝🎯 Great Job❗ Also Congratulations on your Top Story🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉

  • Aryan Kumar4 months ago

    Great Share , Thanks 🥰🙏

  • Heather Hubler4 months ago

    I enjoyed your viewpoints and research on this and could totally see a transition happening as you described. What a wonderful, thought-provoking article. Congratulations on Top Story :)

  • Lamar Wiggins4 months ago

    The foresight in this is ingenious. Evolution plays a big role in the way we communicate. I think you're on to something... And congrats, Deasun.

  • MARIE ODEMS 4 months ago


  • Dana Crandell4 months ago

    Don't forget to credit us IRC fogeys for inventing the pre-emojis: :) :D (.)(.) :( :/ etc. We were a part of that evolution. Emjoi language? Bring it on!

  • Kendall Defoe 4 months ago

    Whatever saves us from all the abbreviated terms that I have to learn and memorize... Thank you for this one. A well-deserved TS!

  • Mackenzie Davis4 months ago

    It is an interesting idea that English might revert to pictographs or glyphs. Funny how the OG form of written language could have just been the first point on a circle. Cool article! I love all things language. 😆

  • Rachael MacDonald4 months ago


  • Veronica Coldiron4 months ago

    You know, this is so true! I never thought about it this way, but you make an interesting point. When my children were young, (2nd and 3rd grade), the school stopped teaching them to write in cursive and started letting them print and use the computer to do homework. When I was in school, handwriting was a percentage of your grade so you had to master. I was at a bridal shower over the weekend and the bride and groom couldn't read my card because it was written in cursive. LOL! Who knows where we'll be ten or twenty years from now. GREAT writing in this!!

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