If we were having coffee, we would be communicating in the most traditional fashion. In other words, we would be talking verbally instead of texting words through the digital world. I’m sure you’ve noticed that by now, the way people socialise with each other is not the same as before.
Ever since the Internet had revolutionised the world, many things have been created. Aside from everyday devices like smartphones, new cultures and trends have quickly gained traction from people thanks to the Internet while existing things are constantly changing so as to keep up with the current era. The way we connect with other people is also evolving. Instead of talking to each other, some, if not most, would prefer to send a text message to a friend even if they are sitting across each other. It seems that we have started to develop this over-reliance on gadgets to get our words out from us. Now, I’m not here to rant about how some people are almost always plastered on their mobile phones.
Since most of us like to send loads of messages to our friends, we sometimes find pressing every button on the phone such a chore. As a result, we end up shortening the words using abbreviations or we purposely spell them incorrectly. For example, instead of typing the word mate, some would usually spell it as ‘m8’, especially on the Internet. Another example is the abbreviation known as ‘ilysmtiflige‘.
Although absurd as these words may be, a large part of our community (most of them from the younger generation) have practised these unofficial words as a part of our language. There is even a website dedicated to compiling these words into one big online dictionary. Of course, many Grammar Nazis are probably against the idea. Almost every day, new entries get submitted to www.urbandictionary.com, thus expanding the slang thesaurus (Unfortunately, it also includes vulgar words. Do take caution before going to this website.). With that said, it just goes to show you how rapidly our “vocabulary” is changing.
Another recent trend in communicating is the use of emojis or emoticons. An emoticon is a pictograph that describes the emotion of the sender. It looks like this: 😃. There is a lot more like it. Each of them represents a certain emotion. Some of them may also represent an object or symbol instead of feelings. They look like these: 🏢 🌀. The emojis took the world by storm. In fact, the Word of the Year 2015 happens to be an emoticon: 😂.
I wonder how our ‘language’ will be like in the next few years? Will we only use pictures instead of words in a sentence? Will we speak in acronyms? Of course, all these scenarios seem way farfetched. Still, it’s still amusing to see what people come up with in these ever-changing times.