Language, Text, and Technology


Jake Martin

For my final project, I decided to focus on the three words we've been discussing all semester long, Language, Text, and Technology. Below are three timelines I've created, one for each of the words. Each timeline shows how each one of these things has evolved over time, and under each timeline I have written a paragraph discussing why each word is important, and how it has affected society throughout time. The questions I focused on for my project were:​​
 
"How have the three things affected us throughout time?" 
"How has our culture changed and been affected by each big advance made in Language, Text, and Technology?"
 and 
"How are these three things connected?"

Please note that there are many, many important moments that aren't shown on these timelines as well, due to time and space restraints, I decided to pick ones that I thought were most interesting, and relevant for my project. If you'd like to learn more about any of the timelines, there is a url placed in the bottom left corner of each corner, that will take you to a website with more information when typed into the search bar.
Digital Handout

Language

There are many types of languages, and each language has its respective history of how it came to be. I decided to focus on the English language simply because it's what I, and most other people will be the most comfortable with, and have the most background knowledge of. The timeline for English language is a pretty simple one, it starts out in a more "primitive" state, which eventually evolve into Old English. After that the language just continues to slowly shift until it's the English that we know, and speak today. English is continuing to  evolve, and it's isn't slowing down, the evolution is
actually speeding up. I want to go into more detail about the Great Vowel Shift, which happened in 1450. This was seen as one of the biggest changes in the English language, as this event was what switched Middle English into Modern English. As we all know, change happens very slowly, which is why it's not surprising that this lasted for almost two centuries. This is significant information because now our language is evolving much quicker, due to the internet and better ways of communication. The use of "slang words" travel so much quicker now. Language is my chosen
word that has the strongest connection to the others, (text and technology). The reason behind this is that, text is just written language. So who's to say that without language, there would be any text at all? Building off of that idea, language is also the basis of pretty much all technology we've created. Computers, phones, TV, cameras, they all use some sort of language to help the user interact and navigate their way through the system. The reason I decided to focus on language first, is because I believe it's the foundation that text and technology continue to grow off of.

Text

Text has been a fundamental part of our education system for a very long time. It's very hard to live in this world without being able to read or write, since being able to read is pretty much expected of everyone. We read road signs, books, websites, warning signs, almost everything in the world has some sort of text related to it. Just like with language, the history of text will differ based on the language, I decided to not focus on any one language but
language in general. It's interesting to think that we went from using only symbols and pictures to actual alphabets. Although we still use many symbols in our text today, such as the dollar sign ($), the percentage sign (%), the and symbol (&), and most recently popular, the hashtag (#). The most important thing to remember about text, is that it comes in many different forms, not just the evolution of the alphabet which I heavily focused on in the
timeline. Text can be words, but also videos, voice recordings, and we all know the saying "A picture is worth a thousand words". Text, and technology are heavily related to each other because a lot of technology either is or is very reliant on code, which is a form of text. It would be pretty hard to code websites and games with no alphabet! Text is also related to language, for many obvious reasons, but mainly that text is often seen as the written version of language.

Technology

Technology has been rapidly growing throughout time as well. Since the introduction of the internet and the world wide web to the public, it's only gotten more popular. With popular and diverse websites such as YouTube and Facebook, the internet was and still is an inclusive place that has something for everyone. Lately, in the 2000's it sometimes seems like we're a technology run world, which could possibly be true. With recent technology,
a lot of our lives are online. These mobile devices such as our cell phones, laptops, and tablets are everywhere and contain a lot of out personal information on them. Technology is connected to both language and text in many ways, such as videos can use spoken language and text depending on the type of video. Just like with language, technology is growing faster and faster with each improvement, new generation, and discoveries. The technology we 
have today is only possible because we've built off of technology of the past, so it makes sense that the further we explore the more we will expand the limits. The future of technology looks very bright, I wanted to add a section in my timeline that had "future technology" with things that are being worked on now, but ran out of room. This section included things like self driving cars, which aren't available to the public yet, but have been tested on the roads. 
Conclusion

In the end, I think it's fair to say that language, text, and technology are three things that run this world. We live in a time where we can openly communicate with people of all kinds all the way across the world with just a touch of the button. The reason we're able to do that is because language, text, and technology work together and become something greater than just themselves. Each of these words represent something on their own, and they each have their own unique history associated with them. But, when they come together they are so much more than they could be on their own. My project was meant to inform about each individual part of them so people can understand not only how they work separately, but together.
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