Monday, 17 February 2014

The Evolution of the Internet Language

When I was first fully introduced to the wonderful world of social media, I was already aware that there were ever-changing social media trends to follow and keep up with. But the more I delved into this wonderful world, and the more people I reached out to through the various mediums of social media, the more I began to notice certain things. Grammar things. Things that would have given your elementary school English teacher nightmares.

The names of search engines have become verbs. Well-known writers are purposely forming what should be considered incomplete sentences, yet these fragments still seem to make perfect sense to the readers. Periods aren't merely symbols to indicate the end of sentences anymore; they are used as a way to make. a. point. (no pun intended)

What I discovered was not simply a ‘Social Media Trend’, but a revolutionary digital language: The Language of the Internet. And in today's world it's essential to know it.

You might be on the same page as me, or you might think I’m being a little absurd to consider an Internet language comprised of grammatical idiosyncrasies to be so so vastly important.


YGTBKM - A common Internet abbreviation.

 If you’re a skeptic, then hear me out for a moment:

If you own a business, and you obviously want that business to succeed, you’ll need to invest in marketing. 93% of marketers use social media for business, and if you're not in that 93%, you need to be.

One of your goals is invariably to reach out to consumers, increase your business brand awareness, and eventually persuade said consumers to purchase your product or service.

There are over 313 million people in the U.S. Of that 313 million, 266 million people use the Internet, the majority being younger consumers, who have lived (or have practically lived) their entire lives with the Internet. Internet English has been ingrained in them. 

Thus, speaking their native language is 
KEY TO YOUR BUSINESS'S SUCCESS.




So whether you’re an Internet English n00b or an Internet English snob, below are the top most relevant phrases/words I have learned on my way to becoming proficient in the Language of the Internet, and I hope that they may inform and enlighten you. Like with any new language, familiarity with the grammar of Internet English will enable you to understand it better. HAPPY LEARNING INTERNET ENGLISH 101!


GOOGLE IS AN OFFICIAL VERB

Goo·gle
[goo-guh  l]
verb, Goo·gled, Goo·gling.
to search the Internet for information about (a person, topic, etc.): I googled your mom the other day. 

That’s right. Google is an official verb. Even Dictionary.com acknowledges that the most popular search engine in the world has become a universally understood verb.


PERIODS ARE NO LONGER NEUTRAL


Periods used to be looked at as, quite simply, the neutral finish to a sentence, but they have recently taken a more assertive, I daresay aggressive, approach. Periods frequently replace exclamation marks, question marks, and are often used to convey a truckload of emphasis, especially when coupled with all capital letters.

Newrepublic.com has a good read on how periods may even have started to suggest downright anger in the texting arena:




BECAUSE IS NOW A PREPOSITION

The word 'because' has traditionally been defined as a subordinating conjunction, meaning it connects two parts of a sentence in which one subordinate explains the other.

However, the past few years it has since transformed into a preposition...


"I can't talk now because working."

"I love The Big Bang Theory because science."

"I gained ten pounds the weekend after Valentine's Day because discounted chocolate."

In fact, 'because' has become such a grammatical game changer that it is the American Dialect Society's 2013 Word of the Year


Because amazing.


ADJECTIVE PRONOUN ADJECTIVE IS A THING

Example: Sleepy cat is sleepy.

From what I can tell, this grammatical phenomenon starting happening around 2012. I know that only because of a question of a very confused asker on Yahoo Answers


 Who knows, Hilbert. All I can say is the crazy Internet is crazy.


RICKROLL. JUST. RICKROLL.

I decided to include this oldie but goodie because older family members still ask me what the heck it means, and I feel bad for anyone who hasn't been enlightened by this. The term was first coined circa May 2007, when someone on 4chan, a popular image-based bulletin board, posted a link on to Rick Astley’s 1987 music video ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ disguised as a sneak preview for the videogame Grand Theft Auto IV, a new release at the time.



Since that time, the Rickroll meme has become a viral bait and switch; a person posts a hyperlink which is seemingly relevant to the topic at hand, but actually leads to the music video for 'Never Gonna Give You Up'. 

INTERNET MEMES HAVE REPLACED CHILDREN AS THE FUTURE OF OUR WORLD

Enough said.


  
NSFW IS NO JOKE

An abbreviation for 'Not Safe For Work', NSFW was coined circa 2007, when Fark.com founder Drew Curtis apparently attempted to trademark the phrase. His application was denied.

Now, I may or may not need to tell you this, but if an article or Twitter handle description reads NSFW… DO NOT CLICK ON IT. 

DO NOT PASS GO.

DO NOT COLLECT 200 DOLLARS.



SUMMARY

The incredible language of the Internet is constantly evolving, and it’s far from just being a cyber language. It's an IRL language, too. I shout out hashtags frequently (i.e. HASHTAG AWKWARD). I can’t tell you how many times I have typed ‘what’ in capital letters, ending in periods instead of question marks, something that 5 years ago I would have slapped myself for doing. Every day I am in awe of the wonder of technology, the wonder of the Internet, and the evolution of Internet language. To get the complete Internet English dictionary of slangs and phrases, visit here.

What do you think of the evolution of the language of the Internet? What phrases or new words are the most relevant and/or mind-blowing to you? Comment below or tweet to us at @Swagger_Media!


Until next time… GTG GBTW TTYL! 




2 comments:

  1. LOL i remember when i first entered a chatroom online and everybody kept saying that's cool lol or "you are right lol" and i was like WHO IS LOL??? how is he everywhere? lollll

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  2. HAHA! Love it. Yeah I think I may have done the same with BRB. Had no. idea.

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