Types of Internet Languages and their Uses
Communication revolution has seen ways of communicating evolve from print to telephone, and now to the 20th century emails and chat rooms. Recently, the Internet has frequently been used as a communication tool. The Internet language is used for communication over the Internet. Currently, there are different types of languages that are used for online communications. They include Internet slang, acronyms, emoticons, memes, and flaming.
Acronyms are forms of abbreviations that constitute initial letters of a word or initial letters of several words (Taylor & Metzler, 2008). They can also be identified as words that are formed from initial letters. They are used commonly in chat rooms, Facebook, and twitter. Example of common acronyms include LOL (Laughing Out Loud), BTW (By The Way), OMG (Oh My God) and ASAP (As Soon as Possible). They reflect the behavior of the users and their attitudes. The use of LOL portrays the writer’s attitude towards what he or she is commenting.
Another common Internet language is Emoticons. Emoticons are a representation of facial expressions and they are created out of a sequence of characters. They are used to portray the mood and emotion of the writer. In online forums, some of the emoticons could be present in the websites used. Other ways of finding emoticons is by combining a set of keyboard characters. The emoticons are the ideal way of expressing the writer’s emotions since there is no physical contact between the sender and receivers of the message. Examples of common emoticons include J(happy face), 😀 (Laughing face) and :-O (Surprise).
Another type of language used in online communication is language that has incorrect grammar. It is mainly seen in youth discussions forums. The main grammatical errors performed are misspellings, punctuation errors, and incorrect capitalization. In misspelling, the writer can do so intentionally or unintentionally. Non-deliberate misspellings come due to improper use of the keyboard. Examples of intentional misspelling are, “Luv” for “love” and “wot” for “what.” The use of capitalization on the other hand is used to put emphasis on specific words. Punctuation can be used to portray various situations, such as uncertainty and continuation (Jung, 2012).
Memes are images of famous characters that are found on the Internet. These images are usually accompanied by funny quotes. Internet users usually use them several times. It is only the quote that can be edited by the users any time they upload the image. They can become famous in a matter of hours. Flaming is another type of Internet language. It is a set of insults that is intended to hurt people’s feeling. It is usually used in bulletin boards and Internet forums. It expresses controversial issues, such as religion and politics. Flaming is considered an abusive form of online communication (Jung, 2012). Another online type of language is internet slang. It is commonly used on forums, chats, Facebook, and twitter. It is often used by the young generation to communicate faster and to fit into the “cool” category. Internet slang incorporates use of acronyms, misspelling, emoticons, and use of capital letters. Today, language critics want this kind of language to be banned and or people to return to real English.
The use of the above Internet language can have a great impact on our life. It can reduce time people spend in communicating, and it can make communication cheaper (Herring, 2004). However, the Internet language can also create misunderstanding, conflict, and in some cases reduce the self-esteem of people. Therefore, it is the duty of every Internet user to make sure that they engage in use of Internet language wisely.
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