FreeThinker

How the Internet changed the way we write

There is an interesting article in The Guardian regarding the evolution of English in the era of the Internet and how one's rules and style vary according to context. Some old fogeys, (me), are sticklers for the old grammatical rules, (my editor might raise an eyebrow reading that), but the new conventions of Internet writing actually make reading easier and more comprehensible (according to the author, the style editor for Buzzfeed--having read Buzzfeed, I think "style editor for Buzzfeed" might be an oxymoron).

 

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/booksblog/2017/dec/07/internet-online-news-social-media-changes-language

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Interesting.  I can certainly see the fogies among us railing at some of their style points.  But the article makes some good sense, too.

I do have a quibble.  It says grandparents don't have to have a translator for message they send to their grandchildren.  From speaking to grandparents, however, I've found the shoe is on the other foot and many do need translators to help with the messages they get from the kids.  Kids are learning to write in a phone messaging argot, a wholly different language than what we learned while still on the tit.  Or even in our adolescent years when our parents scratched their heads while listening to us speak the modern language of our day.  But we didn't turn much of our language into pet phrases we spelled out in just initials.  These have so proliferated that now, even the kids can't keep up with the new ones.

There oughta be a law.

C

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On ‎12‎/‎7‎/‎2017 at 10:31 PM, FreeThinker said:

There is an interesting article in The Guardian regarding the evolution of English in the era of the Internet...

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/booksblog/2017/dec/07/internet-online-news-social-media-changes-language

In the Guardian article there's a link to the BuzzFeed Style Guide. It's definitely worth a look; there's a lot of useful information, including extensive abbreviation and word lists.

Thanks, FreeThinker, for posting this link.

Colin  :icon_geek:

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I agree with Cole that it's hard to keep up, for everybody. I sometimes feel like a kid again when I have to look up words, phrases and abbreviations in the Urban Dictionary - lucky that exists! Then, the BuzzFeed Style Guide, I looked at the UK version, being British. I realised that even though I write British English, it gets more and more mixed up with American, I have no real preference, it is more a question of how you learnt the language, but the edges are getting blurred. Now throw into the mix that I live in France, listen to and speak French, I find myself - believe it or not - someties struggling with English. I've watched British television series in English and found the people spoke so badly it was difficult to understand what they were saying. Flip the audio to the dubbed French and it was clear- what does that say about language development?

 

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Some of the problem with Brit TV shows or movies isn't the language they use, it's the rapidity of the speech.  This is probably something the show directors want, but much of it I find unintelligible, and I understand English just fine.

Subtitles don't help.  When the speaking is  that fast, the subtitles flash on and off before you can read them.

C

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