Most people use shorthand language for sending SMS and in email chat. This popular short hand language is known as Internet Slang. With the introduction of computer based communication, the Internet slang words popularized because of its simplicity and time saving feature. The Slang involves the use of informal words and expressions which are not considered as the standard dialect. The origin of the Slang word has some connection with the Thieve’scant which are the broken words and codes once used by the thieves to convey their secret messages.
SMS is the fancy of young people especially students and the Mobile companies provide offers to increase its use as a trick to promote mobile use and to keep the users in their network. Unknowingly most people are in a state of Mobile addition. Slang words can influence our language expression, vocabulary etc to a certain extent. For verbal communication, we have two centres in the brain. The Wernicke centre is doing Language comprehension and the Brocas centre helps to express the language in the form of speech. When we read a sentence, the Wernicke centre conceives its idea and sends the information to the adjacent Brocas centre, which then helps to express the information in the form of speech.
If we use code words frequently, that may affect our language expression. If a child uses the code UR for sending messages frequently, he may pronounce YOUR as UoooR and sometimes he may write like this in examination. Experts say that heavy use of Codes and Slangs in internet and mobile phone may create problems in children to grasp the basic grammatical concepts and reduce their thinking and speaking ability. This also reduces the meaning of English and drops their ability to speak more phonetic.
Some popular internet slangs are LOL meaning “laughing out loud” and ROFL meaning “rolling on the floor laughing”. The SMS language called Textese is the most common internet slang used in text messaging.
Advantages of Internet slang
Internet slang became popular due to its heavy use by internet and mobile phone users. It has the advantages like
1. It lowers the task of formal speech or writing.
2. The users are familiar with such code words so that it reduces the key strokes.
3. It replaces the conventional synonym.
4. It is a tattoo term used by people of higher status and responsibility.
5. Slangs create novel meanings for the existing words.
6. It uses least number of characters needed to convey a message.
7. Punctuations, grammar and capitalizations etc can be avoided.
Confusion in Internet slang
Usually the users of Internet slang avoid using the vowels so the reader is forced to read the message by adding these letters. For example the slang word “kybrd” represents key board and the reader must interpret the meaning of the slang by matching with the situation. Another confusion is the word” LOL” which has two meaninggs like “Laugh Out Loud” and “Lots Of Love”. So the reader must interpret the meaning of the slang by comparing with the remainin slang words to know the meaning. Other confusing slang word include
1. cryn – Crying , Cryon
2. ttyl lol – talk you later , lots of love not talk to you later
3. omg lol – oh my god, laugh out loud not oh my god lots of love
Use of Pictograms
Pictograms are also used in SMS messaging. For example
I <3u – ‘<3’ means love, ‘u’ means you. That is the Pictogram represents I Love You.
Short forms, codes and symbols are very convenient in SMS text messaging. This reduces the time, key stroke and space but the recipient can know the matter in simple language. SMS language is known in different forms like Textese, Textese, txt, txto, texting, txt lingo, SMSish, txt talk etc. The SMS language is mainly used in Mobile phone communication (Short Message Service) but also popular in internet messaging like emails, instant messaging, chats etc.
Internet Slang creates problems in thinking and speaking?
Internet slang is the pervasive unstoppable part of modern life. Experts say that heavy use of Codes and Slangs in messaging may create problems in children to grasp basic grammatical concepts. Another problem is the gap in understanding the slang words between the parents and children. When the child uses a slang word in internet chatting or texting, the parent may not understand whether the word is innocent or malicious. This is an advantage for the online predators who wait for catching the children to their sites. The parents can do anything because they do not know the meaning of such slang words. This “language gap”, between the child and parent creates problems and many children may be influenced by twisted people worming the websites .The best way to prevent such problems is to isolate the slang from children, schools etc and watch what they are doing.