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Internet Slang and Its Effect on Younger Generation

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Writing is described as hard for most people. However, a common refrain for people chatting online is that tweeting is easy. That is the distinguish between formal and casual expression. Because people tend to stay in a less pressure and less responsibility environment, they like to write the truly willfully ephemeral posters. As a result, the internet slang rises accompanying with the rising of social media, and gradually fills our life. It is now not only used in the virtual communications daily, but also used as a frequent tool of advertising promotion among corporations .

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Internet slang has popped up as an innovative, novel language recently. It includes extra dialects, foreign languages, digitals and icons. Which means, it forms in a more diverse language environment. People can learn different word formation methods and unconventional syntax by exposing to such internet community. Some people fear that internet slang of the Facebook and Instagram erodes our writing fluency, but McCulloch argues that, “all our texting and tweeting is making us better at expressing ourselves in writing” (qtd. in Waldman). In her study, she concludes that messengers in year 2018 were indeed much conciser than the messengers in year 2016, based on a million Russian social-media user. Which indicates that internet slang has greatly enriched its expression with striking local color and abundant connotation by young people. The internet casual language concludes from a variety of databases, takes advantages of both old and new, internal and external words, and redefines them. Since there is no standform, it is quicker and easier to get start.

While I was surfing online, I skimmed the posters on the Instergram, Facebook, Wechat, etc. Abruptly, a shell window popped up from the top of phone. It was my friend, Ashley. “OMG u cant believe who i saw,” she typed. She was my classmate in high school. Although we went to the different states for education, we still keep in touch with each other. Another ring recalled me to her messages, as I read them, I suddenly started to wonder how can the message makes so much sense for me. Most of the words there were replaced with Roman numbers, letters and initials. Indeed it is the combination of 26 English letters, the words and sentences did not appear like any languages I learned. Also, they do not follow any grammar or spelling rule the high school teachers taught. According to David Crystal, language itself usually transforms tardily, but the process is accelerated by the internet and oral so we learn it unconsciously (qtd. in Kleinman). Obliviously, people separate into groups and impress their peers within groups through word play.

The English language is known for its creativity, that though standardized, it is very flexible. In other world, it can have variations. These variations may occur in its use in the level of formality of the language to choose suiting the occasions whether in a formal or informal environment. Take a real teenager text context as a example – “aaaaaaagh the show tonight shall rock some serious jam” (qtd. in Waldman), – McCulloch emphasises the antiquated expression “shall” does not correspond to the verbal expression “aaaaaaagh.” The example highlights that writing style of the new generations is more emotionally precise, much verbaler. In the modernist movement, teenagers look forward to breaking rules of sentence pattern, grammar and punctuation. Their unbuttoned style reflects human interiority, like some twentieth-century innovations.

The internet slang reflections on spiritually demand and human nature, and it integrates the human yearning for real life. SMS (Short Message Service) language, a typical type of Internet Slang, provides opportunities to process experiences, as well as communicate and maintain intimate relationships. When I interviewed my friend later, Ashley, she reflects that most of her daily writing and reading resolves one method, “I text a lot, because that’s what I like to do.” Ashley texts to her friends and families about her life, feeling, views, and even just an idea. But instead of expecting the responses immediately, she usually waits patiently until them being free. She likes to use SMS language, because it gives ample time to jot down everything necessary. Since her text acts as the journal, she would like to keep its context as simple as possible. Ashley wants to record her ideas and thoughts, which hopefully becoming the conversations later. After all, she does not even care about spellings and grammars as long as it is readable for her families and friends. Internet slang can maintain the texts brief and perspicuous, meanwhile it can provide the readily comprehensible communication between friends and families.

In order to do so, repurposing punctuation combination, emojis and Gifs brings an unprecedented delicacy to the new generation, forming a internet native language. There is extra-textual meaning which infused into a simple word or phrase. The expressive lengthening of words like “looooool” or “nooooooo” confers a friendly intimacy. and technical marks find new life as social in-jokes, such as “/rant”. Typography does not simply conjure the author’s mood. It instructs the reader about the purpose of the statement by gesturing toward the spirit in which the statement was conceived (qtd. in Waldman). The description does not only express the views, but express the tone and mood of authors as well. In other word, internet slang can give the reader a vivid description with shorter content.

Apparently, as technology development, internet slang enters everyday life, exploiting the innovative and convenient characteristic of itself. It transforms the language, behavior and psychology of communication. Many internet slang originates from the TV shows, or Youtube. A catchphrase online causing by an incident can be publicized overnight. For example, 13-year-old Danielle Bregoli from the The Dr. Phil Show uttered a memorable phrase, “Cash me ousside, howbow dah.” (“Catch me outside, how about that?”) It went viral because of the thick accent and rebellious attitude of her. Online, the clip has made into different internet memes and been widely mocked in a series of image macros captioned with various frustrating experiences. Memes are known as humorous and ironic, like Danielle’s, and there are other kinds of memes that spreading racist, aggressive messages in order to incite hatred, although the reasons they spread and they exert influence remain unknown.

Recently, more corporations use internet slang in their advertises, especially for the companies which targeting the youth people. Internet slang often enhance the creativity and attractive of advertise. For instance, the restaurant McDonald wrote the “Mo Mo Da” in promotion for the “Ice Cream Day.” The mimetic internet slang for kissing in China references to cuteness, proximity and delectation, which significant the theme behind the “Ice Cream Day.” McDonald’s success inspired other corporations and accelerated widely spreading internet slang. Embedding internet slang into advertisements can thus enhance their creative quality and increase the attention paid to them.

The internet is not the only technological phenomenon that has changed the way we communicating. Radio, television, phone and computer have introduced their fair share of new words and phrases into our lexicon over this century. The new communication technologies often associated with the introduction and uses of the new technologies. They form the internet slang and enrich standard English in a positive way.  

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