With new jargon and buzzwords cropping up almost every day, it can be difficult to keep track of the latest and greatest in Internet slang. The site NetLingo helps you to demystify the technobabble by providing definitions for Internet slang, acronyms and text message shorthand. Another site known as Twictionary defines itself as “a repository for the meanings and manglings of words and language on Twitter.” Users can contribute new words to the site as the Twitter vocabulary evolves.
These sites are quite useful, as traditional dictionary sources like Merriam Webster and the Oxford English Dictionary simply can’t keep up with the pace of change when it comes to techie buzzwords. For example, last year Merriam Webster added the term “vlog” to its Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition; however, this word has commonly been in use since 2005. Despite the fact that they’re a bit behind the times, the most authoritative dictionaries of the English language are making an effort to include social media and tech-inspired words like 2009’s Word of the Year “unfriend.”
As the language continues to include new slang terms influenced by the Internet, computers and cell phones, some parents and experts claim that slang is ruining the English language. Others view these new words as part of the natural evolution of English, embracing them for the richness that they bring to the language and viewing them as yet another form of self-expression.
Parents concerned about their children’s online activity are also wary of Internet shorthand because it’s a barrier to monitoring what their kids are up to on the net. l33tspeak (leetspeak), a form of text message or instant message shorthand that replaces letters with numbers, allows kids to send messages to each other while keeping their parents in the dark. Parents can educate themselves on the top naughty acronyms used by kids by clicking here.
Regardless of whether people are in favor of or against the use of tech jargon in our daily lives, the fact of the matter is that the Internet’s growing presence in our lives and its associated slang are here to stay for the foreseeable future.