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Has the internet changed the way we use language?

With how integral to our lives the internet has now become, it’s hard to believe it’s been around less than 30 years. 

Going digital has been transformative; there’s scarcely an aspect of life it hasn’t impacted. It’s changed the way we work, make appointments, hail taxis, shop, the way we learn, the way we get news and the way we connect with others, just to name a few.

The internet has also changed how we communicate – instead of writing letters, we email. Instead of phone calls, young people now prefer to text message.

It’s also impacting the way we use language. Information can be shared instantaneously, and because of this, people adopt slang and short-form in new and interesting ways.

In 2018 alone, the Oxford English Dictionary has added a range of new words, including terms like me time (denotes taking a moment for yourself), hangry (so hungry you become irritable), and mansplaining (referring to a situation where a man explains something to a woman in a way that’s condescending).

Some other words have simply been updated. In addition to its literal meaning, snowflake can also now denote a person with an inflated sense of uniqueness.

Language is always evolving – Shakespeare, for example, is credited with inventing over 1,000 words in his lifetime.

But we could argue the internet has had a more lasting impact, permanently altering the way we speak in way that would have been unfathomable a generation before.

What do you think? Has the internet changed the way we use language? And is this change for the better? Or is something lost with the informal way we now communicate?  Share your views at Speaker’s Corner. 

Has the internet changed the way we use language?

131 people have already voted, what's your opinion? Yes No

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Alicia
7th Nov 2018
0
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Yes it has for younger people but not for me !
Calli
6th Nov 2018
0
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Wilf
6th Nov 2018
1
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Absolutely yes! Especially with the use of mobiles you need to shorten text as its diofficult and time consuming to type in a normal message you may normally do. In any case in the bad old days of pen and ink and letters and even typewriters you had to think carefully about what you wrote...almost crafting it out. Now its just text message or whats app message on phone and quick response!
JuneAA
5th Nov 2018
2
Thanks for voting!
It has made no difference to me, but I can see that many young people use different words now and even change the meaning of words. Spelling is no longer taught in many schools so they make it up. I find it increasingly difficult to understand my teenage grandchildren as their words have different meanings to mine.
Bluebell2
6th Nov 2018
0
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All state schools teach spelling, grammar and punctuation in KS2, as the pupils have a SATs paper on it. check the standard for 11 year olds here.https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/2016-key-stage-2-english-grammar-punctuation-and-spelling-sample-test-materials-mark-scheme-and-test-administration-instructions
Kes
4th Nov 2018
2
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Of course it has. I understand that language is something that has evolved over the years and will continue to do so at pace. I absolutely agree with LanceFogg about basic grammar. Not only is it not taught in schools, there is a whole generation who do not think that it matters. Text speak, so called, was once just confined to the use of mobile phones, but it has now infiltrated everyday life. Young people, and some not so young, seem incapable of writing, or typing, proper words and phrases in full. However, the very very worst thing of all is the inappropriate and unnecessary use of the word 'like'. It's an epidemic. People, many thousands of people, millions probably, from all walks of life, just can't string a sentence together without almost every other word being 'like'. It 'like' drives me mad 'like' and I 'like' totes blame Social Media for that, 'like' 200%. Aaaaaargh!
Bluebell2
6th Nov 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
All state schools teach spelling, grammar and punctuation in KS2, as the pupils have a SATs paper on it. Check the standard for 11 year olds here. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/2016-key-stage-2-english-grammar-punctuation-and-spelling-sample-test-materials-mark-scheme-and-test-administration-instructions
LanceFogg
3rd Nov 2018
2
Thanks for voting!
Regrettably it has for many. I resist the change and intend to write as I always have - as I was taught!!
It appears that many schools do not teach English Grammar inasmuch that many school leavers do not even know the difference between adjectives and adverbs. Hence a typical phrase from even a TV announcer these days might be "Oh didn't he do it quick". No wonder I shout at the TV!!
Abbreviations while using public media are all very well but when they are used in school, education, business and commerce then that's a great big NO.
The English language has evolved over the years and will continue to do so but its format will and should remain constant. We fought off Americanisms and we will continue to resist all forms of torture from social media and fly-by-night trends, e.g. Yo!...........yuck!
Bluebell2
6th Nov 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
All state schools teach spelling, grammar and punctuation in KS2, as the pupils have a SATs paper on it. check the standard for 11 year olds here.https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/2016-key-stage-2-english-grammar-punctuation-and-spelling-sample-test-materials-mark-scheme-and-test-administration-instructions

While I agree with wrongly used adjectives instead of adverbs, it is infuriating.
Judith358
3rd Nov 2018
2
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It almost caused a divorce! I had been away looking after elderly parents and while I was away I had been in contact with an old friend (his mother was a friend of my mother's too). We exchanged messages and one of them signed off with LOL x. Well my husband saw the message and assumed it meant lots of love, I had to find the definition and show it to him!
Billythequiche
2nd Nov 2018
3
Thanks for voting!
Alas, it seriously has. I know that language has to evolve but it grates on the nerves of us who were taught traditionally, and sometimes painfully. Phrase reductions such as ''cu or 4u'' are ugly. The use of emojis is amusing but make for a lack of communication skills, hands up all those who thought for a long time that ''lol'' meant lots of love. I try hard not to be critical of terrible spelling and the complete lack of punctuation but it is hard.
If I asked my grandchildren to explain the difference between a phrase and a clause, or how differently you would compose a personal letter as opposed to a business letter, I am sure that I would get blank looks. Shame.
Bluebell2
6th Nov 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
Check out the expectations for 11 year olds in the SAT papers for spelling, grammar and punctuation, you may be surprised at what teachers are doing with your grandchildren!

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/439293/Sample_ks2_EnglishGPS_markscheme.pdf
Billythequiche
7th Nov 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
Very little surprises me these days.
Maywalk
1st Nov 2018
3
Thanks for voting!
I hate the shortened version of words such as CU ( see you ) and other various phrases.
While I am still capable I will stick to my usual way of writing.
PeterY
2nd Nov 2018
2
Thanks for voting!
I totally agree with you, Maywalk. I also find the way many "youngsters" speak very frustrating at times when they constantly use the word "like".

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