Learning a new language the art of netspeaking social media@ nyupraha electricity voltage in germany


The first definition of netspeak, according to Urban Dictionary, simply means “ Speaking in ways commonly used to converse in text on the internet.” In other words, it’s an amalgamation of internet code, slang and abbreviations based off of social media, texting, and gaming interactions which allow users to type quickly on platforms that favor speed and concision. So purely based off of that definition, netspeaking seems pretty efficient. gas x strips instructions However, scroll down through the same Urban Dictionary page and you’ll see netspeak as defined as “What incoherent morons overuse because they’re too idiotic to type a few extra letters.” So what we have so far is efficiency vs. stupidity, which are pretty oppositional if you ask me. Which raises the big question– Is the internet making us stupid?

Well when students begin to use the slang terms like idk, smh, and btw on their assignments in addition to a lack of punctuation and capitalization, teachers and college administration officers are prone to say yes. What’s even more worrying is that according to high school senior Allie Sakowicz, some students “don’t even realize that they’re doing it” and a few teachers have even begun to accept such forms of writing. hp gas The use of emojis in addition to slang terms may also hinder the ability to lay out our thoughts into coherent words.

But for those who are able to distinguish their formal writing and their online speech, slang may actually show a higher level of adaptive and communicative skills– despite how phrases like “lol thts lit af” seem to prove otherwise. On one hand, the ability to switch between formal language and netspeaking is a good example of modern code switching, wherein individuals are able to easily alternate between language varieties depending on their ability to analyze the social context and act accordingly. gas leak smell Netspeaking is also a way of claiming group identity and belonging– only with the right cultural capital can an individual use specific slang words or phrases, thus marking their alliance to a specific group of people. ag gaston birmingham We’ve all seen the memes of mothers wrongly believing that ‘lol’ means “lot’s of love” and misusing them as a result, and though they’re definitely a good laugh, they also show the cultural connotations attached to just three letters.

Different subgroups may also have different netspeaking terminologies that are more popular in certain areas than others. Though the global interactive quality of social media has made it so that these phrases can be shared and understood by more than just the group, both l ocation and racial makeup can affect what becomes popular. “For example, the abbreviation ikr (“I know, right?”) occurs six times as often in Detroit as in the rest of the United States; suttin (“something”) mostly occurs in New York City; the emoticon ^-^, which denotes shyness, occurs four times more frequently in Southern California, where a large Korean community may have propelled it into the lexicon.”

Yet netspeaking isn’t just a practice of identity, it’s also an employment of subcultural power. The rise of Urban Dictionary began in 1999 with an entry for ‘The Man‘, which described this term as “the head of ‘the establishment’ put in place to ‘bring us down’. He is assumed to be a male Caucasian between the ages of 25-40 and is rumoured to have a substantial amount of acquired wealth.” By starting with this definition, Urban Dictionary was able to mark itself as a new linguistic reference that worked from the bottom-up, being formed by the democratic decisions of everyday users rather than linguistic elites. bp gas prices nj The use of slang has even breached merely the online world and made it to the official Oxford Dictionary, with editor Fiona McPherson saying “t’s not about dumbing down, it’s more creative ways people are using language.” In the internet world creativity is key in having impact, and even those who are not fully immersed in internet culture have begun to take notice.