Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Evolving English - Facebook's new messaging system

Today 16/11/10 Mark Zuckerberg has predicted revamped messaging system will make email obsolete. Whether you want to reach a friend by SMS text, instant message tweets or email Mr. Zuckerberg explains, it won’t matter.

You simply select their name and send a real-time message, which will reach them on whatever device they’re on, without you having to be concerned about whether you should text them, instant message them, contact them on Facebook, chat and so on.
We modelled it more closely to chat and reduced the number of things you need to do to send a message. We wanted to make this more like a conversation.” Facebook announced

Well Professional Selling, which this blog promotes, is much about business directed conversations.

We have been inextricably part of the Evolving of English as is acknowledged by the new exhibition running at the British Library at Kings Cross, London. (Photo )

The British Library’s exhibition deals with English language in its forms both written and spoken. It deals with accents, slang, jargon as well as punctuation, syntax and spelling. Although it tells the story of the development of the one language and its many voices, it is also a story about communication - which is our trade.

There are many wonderfully historic treasures in the exhibition such as original copies of the Anglo Saxon Chronicle, William Tyndale's’ New Testament, the poem Boewolf right up books , plays ,poems and advertisements of modern times. Dictionaries are on show such as those of Doctor Johnson, the record cards of an Oxford English Dictionary but also one of the earliest one by Robert Cawdrey written in 1604 some 150 years before Dr. Johnson’s Dictionary

But the world of sales is ever present. In the interactive quiz we are asked what a biblipole is? Well, it is a seller of books apparently. I wonder if the mighty Amazon knows off its bibliopole role.

There is a first edition (1719) of a great novel by (a former silk stockings salesperson) one Daniel Defoe whose novel “The Life and Strange Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe” described the human condition, relationship and motivation well before Maslow, Vroom et al.

Even in the Old English and Middle English sections of the show Selling is not far away. Professor David Crystal ( whose books on English should be on every salesperson's bookshelf) reads the section of Chaucer’s Canterbury tales (1386-7) in the prologue about a salesman the Marchaunt (Merchant). As the display illuminates the old language we hear him read in the old language. (A prologue is a forerunner of an advertisement- a classic attention getter- when you think about it. It gives you a taster of more things to come in your offer whether that be a book , product or service.) So in the prologue's description of the Merchant we hear:

David Crystal’s Books and Blog.

“.. Well coud he in eschuange sheeldes selle………with his bargains and with his chevisaunce”
Sheeldes : gold coins........... Chevisaunce : money lending

(Of course my Microsoft word spellchecker and Blogger's spellcheck have now gone mad with red underlining or highlighting of “incorrect spelling” over this quote from the original Canterbury Tales). This Middle English breaks the ‘rules’ of Microsoft’s standard vocabulary.

Similarly the exhibition goes into some detail about the rules of English, how they have changed and how they have been broken.

If you are visiting London on pleasure or business, this free exhibition runs from November 2010 to April 2011 is definitely worth a visit.
Professional Selling’s use of Social media in the evolving of English in the personal field with the likes of Facebook continues apace.
Will its 'sister' LinkedIn , I wonder, develop a similar messaging system which will render business email redundant?

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