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Changes in Language Argument Project: Topic Samples

This LibGuide provides the resources necessary to complete the English 11 Language Changes Argument Project.

Topic Samples

Find a topic/issue of interest in the list below OR peruse the databases or websites provided in the "Resources" tab in this LibGuide.

Pay attention to key words in resources you find, write them down, and use these terms to search for resources in other websites and databases (see "Search Tips" tab for more information on key word searching). 

Sample Topics: 

  • Technology - In 2007, if you were to say, “I’ll whatsapp you” no one would have understood. Innovation in language often presupposes innovation in the wider world, and technology is a great driver of this.

  • Changes in negative and positive words -  If someone calls something wicked, it is not necessarily bad. Interestingly, the word appears to be declining in use already, so as 2020 and the new decade unfolds, it may not be something we hear very often.

  • Changes in adverbial meaning - For example, the frequency of the adverb “literally”, which in the 2010s was almost ten times more frequent than in the 1990s, for example. However, frequency is not the only point of interest as there has also been a notable change in meaning with the 2010s seeing much more metaphorical use of literally than before e.g. “oh I literally haven’t moved all day”. This is important, as if someone had not moved in the slightest for a whole day, then we might grow a little worried for them. This of course was not what the speaker meant.

  • Other ideasNOTE: check "Resources" tab in this LibGuide for passwords, if needed. 

effects of war on language - medicine advertising  -  tobacco advertising -  marijuana advertising -  LGBTQIA+ -  gender categories -  environment -  church jargon - corporate jargon - political rhetoric - the language and rhetoric of race - mental health rhetoric -  women in song lyrics - entertainment industry and language - gender pronouns