// Posted by Renee on 02/13/2012 (11:29 PM)
We’ve talked a lot in class about how culture is America’s biggest export. Included in the catagory of culture is language. So I starting thinking about language and how it is shaped by the network. Well the answer is pretty obvious. The web exports language to anyone who has access but it also creates language. Out of the web an entire system of communication has developed. There are hundreds, if not thousands of new words, slangs, and abbreviations that have been created by web users. About two years ago BBC published an article called How the Interent is Changing Language. In the article, author Zoe Klienmann discuss how words which were created in or for the network, like “google”, have become accepted in are everyday vocabulary and have even been added to the dictionary.
According to the dictionary to “google” is to: ” to search the Internet for informationabout (a person, topic, etc.): We googled the new applicantto check her background.”
Klienmann goes on to talk about acronyms that have been created due to txting (and instant messaging , although she does not acknowledge this), and words that were created on cult websites like 4chan.
Klienmann also talks about the testimony of 4chan creator, Christopher Poole, in a Tenesse court case. What I find particularly funny about the testimony is that the lawyers questioning Poole have no idea what any of the internet lingo means. Klienmann includes a link to the testimony but I have included one here as well. If you scroll down to page 12 you can read a funny exchange where the lawyer essentially has no idea what he’s talking about. He clearly is not a netizon. I feel like this example shows how the internet is access based and anyone who wants to can have a hand in developing the web and creating culture. The lawyer does not subscribe to this culture but there are millions of other people who do.
For more about internet lingo being added to the dictionary, check out this video of Ellen. (skip to 00:56).
And this comprehensive list of words and abbreviations used in the network.
Also, the latest edition of WIRED talks about this topic as well in an article called “Use Your Own Words”. The article talks about how the auto correct software of phones is fighting against users attempts to create new lingo. In a sense auto-correct is hindering the creation of new culture. There is a hilarious website dedicated to showing the abuses of auto-correct software called Damn You AutoCorret!.
The article goes on to argue that grammatical rules are continuously evolving so users should be encouraged to alter the language as they choose. The creation of language should be a “bottom-up” process inspired by the creativity of all who speak the langauge.