Language changes

The language continously changes, and we now use a lot of words that did not exist, or had a different meaning, just a few decades ago. For instance, we often say cool to mean excellent or exciting, and we use the word computer to refer to a digital device rather than a human expert at calculation. Young people of every generation develop their own slang, nearly incomprehensible to their parents; for instance, you may find a lot of modern slang words in the Urban Dictionary, which is sorta cool. As the language evolves over time, it may become a different language. In fact, it may even split in two or more languages, which gradually divert from each other. For instance, both French and Spanish came from Latin, which is a now-dead language, once spoken in the Ancient Rome.

The study of the history of languages, including their appearance, changes over time, and sometimes disappearance, is a major area of linguistics, called historical or diachronic linguistics. Researchers are trying to understand why and how people make up new words (called neologisms), stop using some of the once-common words (called archaisms), and change ways of expressing their thoughts. Linguists also study relations among languages, and divide them into language families by their historical origins.