12 ottobre 2012

Twitter: a valuable tool for linguists

The world of technology is shaping the English language, with innovative advances reflected in new terms.

Of course the explosion of social media has accelerated the creation of new words as different cultures and languages interact.

People are writing much more than we used to. The users of online social media produce an extraordinary amount of text each day. This increased use of electronic communication has given us new language forms and expressions largely driven by operational issues and a need to compensate for lack of non-verbal communication. 

Twitter and other social media offer records of language mutating in real time and space: an immense resource that can offer linguists the opportunity to explore how our words and phrases are changing.

Twitter claims that around 340 million tweets are sent every day. Following someone on Twitter, it is possible to see a word at the moment of its coinage. Because tweets tend to be rather informal, there are a lot of types of creative usages of words. 57% of neologisms on Twitter come from blends.

Networds: new terms coined in the environment of social networks (neologism invented by me).