Change In Grammar

We live in a world that is fast-paced and constantly progressing by the minute. Over the years, technology keeps enhancing and accelerating at a very fast speed, and we are forced to keep up, so that we are not left behind. Specifically, the internet world has almost completely taken over the real world and because our virtual identities have overshadowed our actual ones, we must form adequate and strong identities online. When we live in an online world, we interact and communicate online for the most part. Therefore, it is vital to understand the need for communication, the need to reach out to others and speak, and to voice an opinion. Because in the online world, everybody seems to have one.
Online language has changed throughout the years. We are given an internet platform to use to communicate, and we must make the best use of it. Humans have adapted, changed and made themselves species of the internet and in order to survive in the online world we must be equipped with the best internet language communication and strategies. Furthermore, with such prevalent means of internet access, we have the internet – literally – at our hands, all the time. According to a study on internet use, there are more people who have immediate access to internet on their cell phones than a computer that can access the internet. This just goes to emphasize how dependant we as humans have become on the internet, and needing to communicate. Moreover, it was found by a study that there are over 110-150 million blogs in existence. Now, let us underestimate and assume that maybe only 50 percent of these blogs are updated on a daily basis. This means that every day, 75 million people are updating their blogs (whether through their mobile phone or their computer).
This means that the understanding of how the English language has transformed is vital. Through examination of this very phenomenon, we might be able to understand the reasons why people communicate in certain ways and not others on the internet and we also might be able to predict how internets use in the future. It is very interesting to look at how communication has changed specifically through language on the internet. There are many different ways the English language is used on the internet.
Let us look at one of the latest internet breakthroughs, twitter, and afterwards track time backwards and look to see how the type of communication on twitter came about. When people “tweet” on twitter, they are entitled to a maximum of 140 characters, including spaces.
“Hello twitter, good morning :) sun is shining today, though it’s a hectic day today. I hope it passes smoothly because I sure am exhausted!” This is exactly 140 characters, no more no less. No twitter user gets more character advantages than any other users. On twitter every single user is equal and must limit their tweets to 140 characters. What does this mean? This means that the need to communicate is there, the platform to communicate is there, however a user must keep their tweets short and sweet. This is very efficient because twitter is a social networking site where millions of people “follow” others to stay updated with the latest live news. Because we live in a fast paced world, scrolling down our tweet timeline and looking at all the latest 140 character tweets by the people we are following is very convenient; we simply cannot afford/ do not have the time to read more.
Another example of online internet language is the slang we have all gotten used to. Our first language may be English, but our second language (and maybe even soon mother tongue) is internet “lingo”. The use of internet lingo makes it fast and easy to communicate. People abbreviate almost everything on the internet, because it is easier and more convenient to do so. Here are some examples:
“Brb” = Be right back
“Ttyl” = Talk to you later
“LMAO” = Laugh my arse off
…even something as personal and intimate as “I love you” has been abbreviated into “Ily”
I find it amusing to wonder what Shakespeare would think, if a character of his told the other “ily” and the other responded “ily2”, because although abbreviating text online is convenient, there is the argument that it destroys the whole essence of words and language.
We have grown very dependent on internet slang that it may affect our educational or work writing. If a student were texting all the time and sat down to write a school paper, his mind would be programmed to write in the abbreviated way and therefore may face difficulties when writing, or may unconsciously write a sentence such as “The 3rd wrld war started coz…” Admittedly this has happened to me as a student before, where I had to go back and correct multiple “you’s” that were spelt “u”. According to J.Darling, when he was grading papers in his 9th grade class, “papers were coming in with the likes of "wit" instead of "with" and "wut" instead of "what" with regular frequency. Instead of writing out "for" or "to" students were writing "4" or "2" or forming plural nouns by adding a "z" to the end”. This is quite unacceptable in my opinion, because not only are we growing dependant on internet language and slang but we are also losing the ability to speak like educated, knowledgeable individuals.
Although some may argue that the internet is not an efficient way of engaging in conversation and communicating, I will argue that there are several ways an online based conversation can almost exactly imitate a real life conversation.
BBM (Blackberry messenger) is a messaging service on the blackberry cellphone that allows users to engage in an almost real life conversation. Here’s why: Once you write a text and hit send, a “D” is displayed next to your sent text to confirm that it is delivered. Once the person has read it, an “R” shows to tell you that the person has read your text. Unlike normal SMS texting, this allows the conversation to happen in real time because you are aware of what is going on with the person you are interacting with.
Emoticons (Emotion-icons) have also been a means of expressing tone in text messaging and emails. There are hundreds of emoticons to portray your mood or tone in a certain message you are sending and although some people may overuse them, if used properly they can be very useful.
Furthermore, people have learnt many ways in texting that convey their mood and tone. If somebody is angry, making an important statement, or trying to gain somebody’s attention, THEY WILL USE CAPITALS AND EXCLAMATION MARKS!!!!! Or, they will draggg wordssss onnn.
Here’s an example. The word “hey” used to signify hello can be said in several different ways:
“Hey” is a very simple Hello, almost nothing but a hello is intended here. However, it may come across as being aloof.
“Heyy” with a double y is more friendly and can be perceived slightly flirty. You may want to use this hey if you want to be playful with the opposite sex.
“Heyyy” with three ys is more is being overly friendly and signifies a very good friendly greeting, however overdoing it with more than 5 y’s i.e. “heyyyyyyyyyyy” seems desperate and annoying.
“Hey.” With a period is cold and abrupt and you may want to use this to show the person that you are serious or angry.
These are five different examples of how such a simple word such as “Hey” can be expressed or perceived, and the interesting fact is that anyone with internet knowledge will know how to intercept the “hey”. This also shows the extent to which the internet language is developed as a means of expression.