How Will Authors Battle A Language Of Irrelevancy?
Nearly 7,000 languages are still spoken worldwide yet about half are endangered, as no more than 3,000 people speak any of each of those languages.
The English language is likely to live on for a long time because it is spoken and taught all over the world but the basis for that is the fact the US is an economic and military powerhouse. Should the US fall far behind other countries, especially China or India, our language will shrink in usage and it will be denigrated by an infusion if foreign words that will come about from globalization.
According to Ethnologue: 17th edition, English is the third most common language, trailing Chinese by far and Spanish by a much narrower amount. My concern, for our lifetime, is not that English will disappear but the version of English that had existed pre-Internet will become so bastardized that modern-day texts will be I recognizable by the 22nd century.
Soon there will be:
And it will change over and over and over again -- and again -- and again. And again.
So if the planet's extinction is seemingly inevitable (sun burns out), humanity's extinction is inevitable (war, disease, asteroid, alien invasion, robot takeover?), and your book's functional life is likely limited, how will you make your book of today useful and relevant to today;s reader AND readable in the coming centuries?
Will you focus on things that we hope or think will endure -- strong emotions like love, as well things like beauty, nature, and power -- or will we write about things that could be subject to great change due to technological advances and scientific evolution?
Perhaps nothing is immune from the changes our world will come to endure. Nothing remains out of the reach of time, the laboratory or the evolving nature of humanity.
But all that said, writers write and they write what they know and feel and think. time will tell what has true lasting power. It can't be predicted what will be of importance to the future. Maybe faster, longer-distance space travel (beyond our galaxy) and time travel will come to be and then the future generations will come back to pay us a visit - -and read our books.