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Internet Speak

Thursday, April 5, 2012 by

Once upon a time, people communicated with each other in complete sentences.  Or at least, I assume people used to communicate with each other in complete sentences.  Then along came the technology that spawned the phenomenon of communicating via text.  This effectively butchered the English language.  At least we thought so, at the time.  Then along came IRC and Instant Messaging which thus took language into depths of fail that were never before imaginable.  OMG, LOL!

Instant Messaging is one of the primary means of communication within, and between, HostGator offices.  This leads to much butchering of the English language internally, whilst (hopefully) maintaining proper grammar within the LiveChats with Customers; this occurs simultaneously, behind the scenes.  I’m not going to reveal too much of the inter-office shenanigans, but there are various conference rooms utilized by various departments to effectively communicate as a group with one another.  This is a snippet of a conversation that took place in one of these conference rooms:

(05:38:01 AM) Preston: bacon are desireable
(05:38:06 AM) Preston: i want some bacon
(05:38:43 AM) Adam: proper spelling is desirable.
(05:38:49 AM) Adam: i want some proper spelling.
(05:38:53 AM) Adam: wrapped in bacon.
(05:38:56 AM) Preston: then read a book
(05:38:58 AM) Preston: this is the internet

It was the above exchange specifically that prompted the creation of this blog post.  It got me thinking about how we have truncated our language to make it far more immediate, far more bite-sized… far more streamlined, or far more primitive?  TLAs, or “Three-Letter Acronyms” have become the norm.  The aforementioned OMG and LOL, also: SMH, BRB, BRT, BFF, AFK… even the dreaded twosome of WTF and FML.  This is clearly by no means an exhaustive list of TLAs.

There is no way to know the manner in which language will evolve in the future, but if Future Man looks back at the HostGator conference room logs and compares them with the LiveChat logs of the same people having Customer interactions, he may very well think that two completely separate languages are being spoken… and perhaps that is relatively true.  What’s interesting is the two gentlemen quoted above are both highly intelligent and articulate individuals, which you may not necessarily be able to infer based on the snippet presented.

This all begs the question, should we consciously continue down this path of effectively disassembling language down to it’s most basic and minimally-communicative parts, or do we purposely not do that in order to maintain the present arc of lingual evolution, so to speak?  As always, when the future becomes the present, the victors will have written the history, amirite?  ZOMG, fosho!  LOL.

One Comment
  • Gary Warman
    5 April 2012 at 2:59 pm

    One of the many reasons I miss working at HG. </3