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If our society continues on its current trajectory and we arrive in a reality that involves very little face-to-face communication and increasingly stream-lined digital communication, what is your idea on how language might change under these circumstances?

In a world where individuals are able at any given moment to be connected through digital messaging, and the input methods for these messages (being intuitive to the brain's natural thought processes) are actually more efficient than physical speech, how would language change?

Were language a more direct expression of our brain waves in this manner, would the more complex grammar dissolve into basic concepts and ideas? And in the evolution of 'written' language, would spoken language alter itself similarly? Perhaps any written word might disappear completely as the brain adapted itself to such direct expression and transitioned more to transmitting ideas and images?

In short, if one utilized a form of communication that directly accessed thoughts, would language even still exist?

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closed as primarily opinion-based by AndreiROM, L.Dutch, MichaelK, Azuaron, JDługosz Apr 7 '17 at 17:21

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    $\begingroup$ This is a fascinating question that is probably too opinion based for this site. $\endgroup$ – sphennings Apr 7 '17 at 13:43
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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to WorldBuilding! This looks interesting, but I am not sure whether answers can be somewhat objectively rated against each other. What contributes to a good answer in your opinion as the author of the question? Please take the tour and visit the help center to learn more about the site. We are not a discussion forum for open-ended ideas. Therefore your question might be put on hold for some time to allow you to edit it to fit the sites guidelines. Afterwards it can be reopened. Have fun! $\endgroup$ – Secespitus Apr 7 '17 at 13:48
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    $\begingroup$ I disagree with the close votes, this seems like a much less opinion-based question than other ones that have gone un-closed. We have decades of text-based conversations to base answers off of. $\endgroup$ – DaaaahWhoosh Apr 7 '17 at 14:03
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    $\begingroup$ Do you know of any method of communicating thoughts without using language? Because I don't and I would be very interested. If I remember correctly it is still an open question whether reasoning is even conceptually possible in the absence of language. $\endgroup$ – AlexP Apr 7 '17 at 17:19
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    $\begingroup$ I too disagree with the close votes. @DaaaahWhoosh is correct this less opinion-based than other questions. Also, there is a body of expertise about language and how it changes to be able to answer this question satisfactorily. There may be a lack of persons with linguistic expertise on WB, but isn't a problem with the question. $\endgroup$ – a4android Apr 8 '17 at 0:36
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Largest influence as far as a written language shift is and always has been:

A uniform education system/standards.

While texting and IMing makes for a new shortened system of slang, it hasn't had as much of an impact on language USAGE and structure overall. New words enter our language, but some...will die. LOL is a good example. It's still used, but it's going away--and there are plenty of articles, even better than what I have linked about the rise and fall of the word.

Only IF this is nearly the only form of communication available and there are NO educational standards at all, or requirements to get jobs, will it evolve into another thing.

Emojis are not sufficient to communicate exact meaning, because they are open to interpretation. They are a great supplement to the fact that it's hard to convey feeling and emotion through texting, but otherwise are not an adequate replacement for language.

Consider too the impact of the spoken word--face time and video can and will be a thing in a digital world--and the spoken word always has an impact on the written, and vice versa.

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  • $\begingroup$ Perhaps part of the reason "LOL" is fading is that so many of us are irritated at its "misuse"—people type "LOL" when they barely even smiled. I did hear someone this morning audibly SAY the letters "O-M-G." $\endgroup$ – WGroleau Apr 7 '17 at 15:56
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    $\begingroup$ Good to see someone recognize that this question can be dealt with in terms of linguistics not as a matter of opinion. There is much more that could be said about linguistic changes under any circumstances. History here is a good guide. Plus one. $\endgroup$ – a4android Apr 8 '17 at 0:42

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