Language changes and develops constantly with time to adapt to the users' needs. In WWI and WWII, English developed with technological advances since new products and experiences were coming into existence and needed new words to refer to and describe them. The developments included lexical, phonetic, spelling, semantic and syntactic changes and they caused languages perceived as high-status to spread and stabilise at the expense of low-status languages. This paper will discuss how soldiers in WWI and WWII changed the way English was formed with particular focus on the letters they wrote letters to their families back home. Through the wide use of letters as the key form of communicating with family and friends and the communication they had between themselves in the trenches, a myriad of words and phrases came into common use.
The impact of the overseas involvement of the military on the English language was already evident by 1914, which had remarkable differences with the English of the Elizabethan age. With the war a meeting point of numerous nationalities and people brought together under stressful conditions, German had a significantly different influence with its loanwords to English that mainly refered to vehicles and weapons. Both WWI and WWII were eras of language creativity that portrayed soldiers as having a genius for coming up with slang and terms. For instance, the way some sentences were structured in WWI can be associated to older forms of English while WWII English is more related to the present-day English. A particular example is "is not the sorrow of a child when it loses its doll a very real and great grief?" written by Eric Lubbock to his mother. Although not to say the question is structured wrongly, changes occurred in WWII that suggest what the structure could have been in the 21st century.