Instant communication between every human on the Earth has had profound effects on our culture — notably, the way we transmit language. In the flurry of texts, tweets, emojis, and acronyms that bombard us daily on the Internet, it may feel like language is evolving more rapidly in the age of interconnectedness and globalization. But depending on which linguistic concepts you're measuring, language may actually be changing slower than it ever has in human history. That's according to this week's guest, David J. Peterson, a linguist well-known for constructing complete, functional languages for our favorite fiction, including Game of Thrones and The 100 (if you've ever heard Daenerys Targaryen speaking Dothraki, you can thank Peterson for the grammar).
Peterson has a deep knowledge of the social and generational pressures that compel (or prevent) language changes. We geek out about symbolic baggage in modern software (Why do we still use a floppy disk icon to "Save," anyway?), the future of language, and how disruptive technologies change fundamental communication standards. He also explains why emojis are not a language, and why the fictional languages of Star Wars are pretty lame (shots fired).
Follow David J. Peterson on Twitter to keep up with his work.