The Influence Of The Language Of Social Media On The English Language

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The Influence Of The Language Of Social Media On The English Language


Abstract


The boom in the use of social media in our time has no doubt brought a lot alteration in different language conventions. The early users of social media battled with space and time. Since social media language is in the borderline of speech and writing they created unusual acronyms and some other new words, like ‘u’, ur, ‘unfriend’ etc not only to communicate faster but also to maximize the limited space they have. Some linguists began to protest as these coinages were not only used within the circle of social media and informal writing but began to get into the mainstream of the English language. They see it as a threat to their language.

This paper takes a different stand as it sees this trend as sign of language change. We know that people’s passion for their language has propelled them to constantly keep vigil to make sure it is protected. This has led to the creation of ‘Dos’ and ‘Don’ts’ which have continued to hinder the operations of the language. But language change is so subtle that the users hardly realize when it occurs. This shows that they do not consciously bring this change. Though they are the drivers of this change, they do not know how it happens. Any language that finally ends up in the cage of ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ has fallen into the danger list and may be forgotten soon.

We should not lose sight of the fact that both the rigidity and the flexibility of a language are domiciled in the language community, and that calls to mind what Noam Chomsky calls langue. Language tilts towards death any time linguists, in the spirit of protecting theirlanguage, try to stop the language users from exploring their creativity in the language. While Chapter one is the general introductory overview, chapter two gives the conceptual account of Language Change and reviews the literature in this area till date. Being a linguistic study, chapter three presents the nature of the data involved in this study and shows how the data were collected and the method and processes involved in their analysis. Chapter four presents the results and analyses them. The summary and the conclusions of the study are made in chapter five.

From our findings it is evident that the language of social media is not a threat to the English language. It is, therefore, pertinent that linguists begin to see the language of social media as an agent of linguistic revolution.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background To The Study

Social media is the social interaction among people in which they create, share or exchange information and ideas in virtual communities and networks. In Andreas Kaplan and Michael Haenlein’s definition, social media is ‘a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, and that allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content’ (para 1)

Social Media is the future of communication, a countless array of internet-based tools and platforms that increase and enhance the sharing of information. This new form of media makes the transfer of text, photos, audio, video, and information in general increasingly fluid among internet users. Social media has relevance not only for regular internet users, but for business as well. Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Whatsapp have created online communities where people can share as much or as little personal information as they desire with other members. The result is an enormous amount of information that can be easily shared, searched, promoted, disputed, and created.

Social Bookmarking tools and news sites such as Digg, Delicious, reddit, and countless others make finding specific information, images, or websites increasingly simple by assigning or “tagging” individual sites with searchable key words.


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