There is no doubt the English language has gone through significant changes over the years. Yet, with the rise of the internet, the revolution of social media and the English language has rapidly increased. It’s also somewhat alarming in the many ways it negatively affects the younger generations.
Social Media and the English Language
Throughout the decades of time, social media and the English language continue to evolve. A lot of these changes are attributed to the impact of social media. Even the use of emojis to express nonverbal communication has become commonplace. Let’s check out some of these changes below.
New Words & Meanings
Up until just recently, words like “fleek” and “selfie” didn’t even exist. Some new words have managed to make it into the Oxford Dictionary, like “YOLO” (You Only Live Once), “e-address” and “mansplain.” Many of these new words came straight from users on social media platforms.
New terms are frequently introduced at a rapid rate and often replaced with something different after a short time has passed. It’s comparable to the speed at which new songs are repeatedly played on the radio until before you know it; the song is all played out.
Preexisting words are given new meanings. For example, “timeline” or “wall” can refer to a person’s home page of their social media account. Other words with new meanings include terms such as “like,” “status,” “unfriend,” and “block.”
Slang & Acronyms
With the rise of SMS and sites like Twitter, teenagers no longer spell out entire words. They want to get out as much as they can as quickly as possible. Some are acronyms that have been around for years, like “omg” and “smh.” Other terms are fairly new like “bae.” They also incorporate the use of numbers in slang such as “b4” for the word “before” or “h8” for “hate.”
Businesses trying to increase their Twitter engagement will need to take advantage of the evolving hashtags and acronyms that fly through the tweetosphere (also a new term) due to only having 280 characters of space for each tweet. When you have less space, you have to be creative to come up with more powerful headlines and messages.
Variations of English
People struggling to speak or write in the English language tend to add their own intermingling of their native language with English. For example, a Spanish speaker using some English with his or her own language is known to be speaking “Spanglish.” It’s not entirely Spanish or English but a mixture of the two.
It’s up to the native English speakers to determine the future of the English language. Emojis, acronyms, and other variations of the language can be shared with more people across worldwide platforms. Just remember, there is nothing wrong with using these forms of informal communication on social media platforms.
However, you should refrain from putting them on a college assignment, research paper, and definitely avoid putting them on a job application. It is absolutely essential to develop solid writing skills if you expect to be successful.
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