September 15, 2008
How Social Media is Impacting Grammar and Language
I bet my mom is gonna jump on this one.
Here’s the back story: My Uncle Larry just joined Facebook. Oh yes. It’s a family affair now. He sent me a message that said, and I quote:
You can tell them if Uncle Larry can do it…..
bumper sticker brevity and YB poignancy – c even i’m doing it!
It was the ‘c’ that caught my eye. He meant ‘see,’ but more importantly, did my mom’s cool older brother just phonetically spell in a social media format? This wasn’t a text. This was a message. Presumably typed on a keyboard.
OMG! What’s happening to the sanctity of the English language!?
It’s an evolution. Our means of communication has changed and it follows that our language must do the same.
Social media communication requires a new way of speaking (I’ll quote Uncle Larry again):
It is like communicating in the strange language of bumper sticker brevity and Yogi Berra poignancy, one thought at a time.
Clearly, it goes with out saying that my Uncle Larry, with bumper-sticker-brevity-and-Yogi-Berra-poignancy no less, summed up what communicators, sociologist, marketers and other cultural attaches have been trying to put to words.
In a new world where abbreviations abound and text language is common place. It’s the message that is at the core of communication. And while the brevity and inventive spelling may irk some (like my mother the English professor), isn’t the point simply to understand each other?
Do U C what I mean?