1.23.2014

weird grammar brought to you by the internet

I think it's really interesting how humans have created new language and grammar on the internet. I'm not sure how most of these new words or trends got started, but somehow we all decided as a virtual society what the new words, punctuation, and rules were without actually spelling it out. Everyone who internets regularly knows and acknowledges the rules, and actively uses them.

At first the language nerd in me was put off by the abbreviations and breakage of grammar rules. But then the language nerd in me became fascinated by the new rules and words. In fact, it shows creativity and intelligence to know the rules, break the rules, and manipulate existing language to create new language. The same goes for vernacular, slang, and teen speak. Didn't Shakespeare singlehandedly do the same thing the whole internet has done? And we regard him as a genius - we don't lament how the language of his day has morphed or died off. 

Here is my collection (so far) of new words and rules brought on my social media and internet usage:

  • lol - no longer just stands for laugh out loud, but is mainly used as a filler word or verbal emoticon when we want to make sure we come off as lighthearted, or in agreement with someone. Example:  I don't know why you watch the Bachelor; it's such a ridiculous show lol. or- A: So over this polar vortex. B: lol I know. 
  • lolz - same as lol but the z is added to show that we are aware of our ridiculous use of this AIM chat term, but want to use it anyway
  • because + noun - why use more words than you have to? Example: I guess I'll never lose those last 5 pounds because DONUTS. 
  • ubiquitous question marks - used in place of a verbal pause or linking verb. It's not even at the end of a coherent question or complete sentence. Example: The shirt I'm wearing in the picture? So comfortable. -or- The best part? I'm playing Peter Pan in my community theater. 
  • all the things - a phrase used to express great quantities or in place of the word everything. Example: I ate all the things. 
  • THIS. - used to express extreme agreement when posting a link to an article. As in "couldn't have said it  better myself.
There are definitely a lot more that I can't think of right now, and I haven't even gotten started on abbreviations and acronyms. I think I can get on board with this playful use of the English language as long as it's self-aware - even though I frequently have to google things or ask my 15-year-old sister what certain lingo means. 

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