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The Internet

"English" Not Threatened By Webspeak 695

MudButt writes "Linguists say not to worry too much about Netspeak, otherwise known as the language of choice in chat rooms and IM clients. According to this Yahoo! article, linguists say that terms like "cya", "brb", "afk" are a healthy way of exploring the power of the written language. They went on to say "FYI, RTFA"!"
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"English" Not Threatened By Webspeak

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  • That is, encoding English like we encode with a compiler?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 24, 2005 @03:04PM (#12037951)
      YAF,R?
    • Hmmmm... (Score:5, Funny)

      by Seoulstriker ( 748895 ) on Thursday March 24, 2005 @03:05PM (#12037986)
      That is, encoding English like we encode with a compiler?

      OMFG. Liek nevar, j00 n00b. lololol. j/k.
    • Why would you want to do that?
    • When are we getting machine code natural language?

      It's called Lojban [wikipedia.org]. (Just an interesting tidbit I picked up after having my question answered in the AI thread.) :-)
    • by i41Overlord ( 829913 ) on Thursday March 24, 2005 @03:44PM (#12038456)
      01001001001000000111010001101000011010010110111001 10101100100000011010010111010000100111011100110010 00000110011001100001011100110110100001101001011011 11011011100110000101100010011011000110010100100000 01110100011011110010000001110100011000010110110001 10101100100000011011000110100101101011011001010010 00000111010001101000011010010111001100101110001000 00010101110110100001100101011011100010000001001001 00100000011011110111000001100101011011100010000001 10110101111001001000000110110101101111011101010111 01000110100000101100001000000100100100100000011100 11011011110111010101101110011001000010000001101100 01101001011010110110010100100000011000010010000001 10110101101111011001000110010101101101001011100010 00000101010001101000011001010010000001101101011011 11011100110111010000100000011010010110111001110100 01100101011100100110010101110011011101000110100101 10111001100111001000000111000001100001011100100111 01000010000001101111011001100010000001110100011010 00011001010010000001100011011011110110111001110110 01100101011100100111001101100001011101000110100101 10111101101110001000000110100101110011001000000111 01000110100001100101001000000110100001100001011011 10011001000111001101101000011000010110101101100101 00101110
    • Not before we get general-purpose artificial intelligence. As it stands, just about every language in use today is context free, so a single statement can have only one meaning. English, on the other hand, can have statements whose meaning cannot be determined in isolation.

      "Time flies like an arrow."

      "Fruit flies like a banana."

      Both sentences can be parsed in either of two ways: Time(noun) flies(verb) like an arrow, or Time(adjective) flies(noun) like an arrow. Don't ask me what a time fly is. I
      • Both sentences can be parsed in either of two ways: Time(noun) flies(verb) like an arrow, or Time(adjective) flies(noun) like an arrow. Don't ask me what a time fly is. It might be some sort of time-travelling insect that's out to destroy us all.
        There's a third interpretation: Time (verb) flies (noun) like (in the manner of) an arrow. So you should get your stopwatch out, and time the flies; but do it the way an arrow would.
      • Both sentences can be parsed in either of two ways: Time(noun) flies(verb) like an arrow, or Time(adjective) flies(noun) like an arrow. Don't ask me what a time fly is. It might be some sort of time-travelling insect that's out to destroy us all. I don't want to think about it. The point is, a computer cannot consistently eliminate such possibilities, and therefore has a difficult time figuring out what you're talking about.

        A computer would have no more difficulty than we would. Most people upon first he
  • "English" (Score:4, Funny)

    by daniil ( 775990 ) * <evilbj8rn@hotmail.com> on Thursday March 24, 2005 @03:03PM (#12037943) Journal
    What's up with these quotation marks? Are you being ironic, and if, then why? English is a real language, you know...
    • Re:"English" (Score:5, Insightful)

      by bfline ( 859619 ) on Thursday March 24, 2005 @03:09PM (#12038042) Homepage
      I agree. They need to stop worrying about acronyms and start doing something about all of these overused and misplaced quotation marks.
      • Yes. (Score:5, Funny)

        by 2names ( 531755 ) on Thursday March 24, 2005 @03:24PM (#12038230)
        Misplaced quotation marks, misplaced commas, the whole "your you're" problem, the "there their they're" fiasco...these are all huge problems on which we must focus our efforts.

        Now, get you're ass back to work. We don't, want to piss you're boss off their do, we now?

    • Its not "netspeak" that threatens "english", but the "overuse" of "quotation marks" to put "emphasis" on "something"

      Ah well, at least they didnt use the blink tag.
    • Perhaps the intent was to acknowledge that Webspeak is in some sense part of the English language. By "English" the poster meant "English proper".
    • by MudButt ( 853616 ) on Thursday March 24, 2005 @03:11PM (#12038081)
      What's up with these quotation marks?

      We shouldn't get "hung up" with things like the "misuse" of "punctuation". We're "geeks" and as such we should be "allowed" to "misuse" the English "language".
    • Re:"English" (Score:3, Insightful)

      by bcmm ( 768152 )
      It could be an overuse of quotation marks, or it could be a sarcastic reference to the false concept of "English" as a monolithic, standardised language.
      • by ackthpt ( 218170 ) *
        It could be an overuse of quotation marks, or it could be a sarcastic reference to the false concept of "English" as a monolithic, standardised language.

        Like French...

        Z95 Rocks Paris! (actually heard on Paris, FR FM radio)

  • by lecithin ( 745575 ) on Thursday March 24, 2005 @03:03PM (#12037949)
    English or any language is bound to change given new discoveries and ways of life. This is just normal

    We are already communicating under the influence of the computer. Language must change with the way that we communicate.
    • Although this is true, I can't really imagine reading a Ph.D report in 1337 speak, let alone the AIM/14yearold abbreviation "language".
    • by Ohreally_factor ( 593551 ) on Thursday March 24, 2005 @03:10PM (#12038051) Journal
      FTFA:

      Even Netspeak enthusiasts acknowledge that young people need to learn how to speak and write proper English to get ahead in school, hold a job or post on slashdot.


      Some of us old timers still prefer to comprehend what we're reading.
      • by jangobongo ( 812593 ) on Thursday March 24, 2005 @04:02PM (#12038692)

        Some of us old timers still prefer to comprehend what we're reading.

        Even Slashdot has its own "Slashspeak" (Sorry, couldn't resist the quotations marks, as per some of the previous threads). Some has taken me a while to figure out. Some I still haven't figured out. There should be a FAQ page with some of the frequently used Slashspeak, IMHO. ;)

        Here some of the few I've managed to figure out on my own.

        IANAL = I am not a lawyer (with lawyer sometimes replaced with astronomer, physicist, etc)
        WRT = with regard to
        AFAIK = as far as I know
        RTFA = read the f***ing article; also shortened to TFA or just FA - see parent post for FTFA, another variation - substitutes "from" for "read"
        WTF= what the f*** usually followed by lots of ?'s and !'s
        GP = grandparent, or grandparent post, the parent before the previous (parent) post

        I still haven't figured out what the hell IIRC means, though.
    • Except there's a difference between written and spoken language.

      The points of things like "CYA" and 'l8r' is that they sound the same as "See ya" and 'later', but they're easier to type (arguably l8r is not easier to type, however). There's no benefit to saying 'cya' versus 'see ya' because it comes out, verbally, the same.

      The problem is that this sort of thing alters the way we communicate in a written manner. The English language, especially when it's being written, is already muddled enough without inv
      • There's no benefit to saying 'cya' versus 'see ya' because it comes out, verbally, the same.

        so what? writing things without capital letters signifies the same utterance; why did you use capital letters? and that gratitous apostrophe?

        The English language, especially when it's being written, is already muddled enough without inviting new deficincies just because a bunch of fourteen year old kids are too lazy to type or waste too much time IM'ing each other on cell phones.

        Their ancestors butchered the la
      • by iabervon ( 1971 ) on Thursday March 24, 2005 @05:48PM (#12039895) Homepage Journal
        There's also a difference between formal language and informal language, and a difference between monologue and discourse. Chances are that when you see a friend on the street, you don't launch into a speech. Rather, you exchange a series of mostly monosyllables and sentence fragments. If, however, you begin telling a story or explaining something, you'll use mostly complete sentences and organize them in a logical structure. If you are called upon to do some public speaking, you will probably additionally enunciate more and add extra information to cover for the fact that the audience cannot interrupt you with questions.

        The "netspeak" discussed in the article is the written counterpart to conversational English. It is not derived from formal writing; it is derived from informal spoken discourse, adapted to typed text.

        It is obviously inappropriate for formal writing, and students have to be taught to write well, but there's no reason that they can't chat online informally and write papers formally. No parents avoid chatting around the breakfast table for fear that they will somehow damage their ability to give speeches. Cicero didn't deliver a prepared speech when he wanted to know how his friends were feeling, and there's no reason people chatting online should write essays to each other.

        (Incidentally, the plural of "medium" is "media", unless your offspring are chatting with the dead)
    • "English or any language is bound to change given new discoveries and ways of life."

      Personally I think that the English language being taught in schools in the USA is devolving.

      Kids are taught to identify syllables in a word and then to simply 'say' those syllables. The traditional pronunciation (based on derivation and history) is simply ignored.

      This is turning the language taught in schools into a purely mechanical method of communication.

      'Street' versions of the language are certainly evolving, but t
      • The traditional pronunciation (based on derivation and history) is simply ignored.

        When has the traditional pronounciation been based on derivation and history? It's based on how things are actually pronounced. Frequently, when it's supposedly based on derivation and history, it's wrong: the t in valet was pronounced in the era of French that word was borrowed from, and it was pronounced for hundreds of years in English, until someone came along with "derivation and history".
  • Video (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FTL ( 112112 ) * <slashdot.neil@fraser@name> on Thursday March 24, 2005 @03:04PM (#12037954) Homepage
    Don't worry, Netspeak is temporary. Within a few years I expect the net will be awash with video. Technologically we're almost there, we just need a little bit more penetration of broadband and a killer app to get the ball rolling. Once this happens, most of the casual textual material will vanish. I don't know what the net will look like or how it will operate. It will probably be similar to the change that happened when the web replaced gopher. The web is not simply gopher with images, it is an entirely different beast that is used in different ways. Likewise, the addition of video will be one of those proverbial "paradigm shifts".

    So who's going to be the next Netscape?

    • Maybe Acacia research will come up with that killer app. Oh, wait. They already did and they patented it. It's called Method of Killing Video on the Internet by Means of Submarine Patents.
    • Re:Video (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ivan256 ( 17499 ) * on Thursday March 24, 2005 @03:12PM (#12038087)
      I doubt it.

      You can't multitask with video like you can with text. Unless somebody can figure out how to carry on several independant conversations at once using video, text will continue to be king.
    • You'd think there'd be some kind of audio analog of that to fill the gap. Like something with simple avatars even; something which requires only a fraction of the resources as even low res, low frame rate video. People like chatting, it seems, and I think the reason for this is that it's passive and asynchronous. If little clips could be recorded easily and placed into a queue so your system is truly analogous to IM, meaning passive and asynchronous, then it could catch on.
      • Re:Video (Score:3, Insightful)

        by UWC ( 664779 )
        With the exception that text has the advantage of silence, you might be on to something there. You could have a separate window for each conversation. To send a voice clip, hold a button while you talk, and be given a send, discard, or append option. Clips from those you're chatting with queue up and either automatically play when the window is in focus or there's a Play button.

        Still, while that offers a potentially more natural means of communication, text still has the (in my opinion very large) advanta

  • by drunken dash ( 804404 ) on Thursday March 24, 2005 @03:04PM (#12037959) Homepage
    And let's not forget Microsoft's take [microsoft.com] on l33t sp34k =)
  • I disagree (Score:5, Funny)

    by Jhon ( 241832 ) * on Thursday March 24, 2005 @03:04PM (#12037961) Homepage Journal
    "English" Not Threatened By Webspeak
    They obviously haven't IM'd my 16 year old niece. "OMG! LMAO!!! Every1 nos that! lol! ttfn! cya!"

    Sadly, that is a direct cut-paste from my IM window this morning.
    • Re:I disagree (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Seumas ( 6865 ) on Thursday March 24, 2005 @03:14PM (#12038108)
      Whether gaming or chatting on AIM (or even email), I refuse to converse with people who can't make an effort to speak properly. I read english. I don't read txt-msg. I should not have to read your sentences three or four times to figure out what you're saying, just because you're too lazy to write propertly. And hell, it's more difficult to write like that than it is to write properly. Takes more time, too.

      It's not an elitist thing, either. It's just a matter of time and energy. I don't have any more time to sit and puzzle together someone's stupid "netspeak" comments than I have to figure out what the fuck something like "skeet" means.

      Worse is when someone can't be bothered to type "you are" instead of "u r" - but they can be bothered to put 50 exclamation points in the same fucking sentence.
      • by danila ( 69889 )
        Whether gaming or chatting on AIM (or even email), I refuse to converse with people who can't make an effort to speak properly.

        Wlcum 2 my fos. Strng to c such aversn 2 leetspk frm an elitist such as urself. lol!!!!one

        I should not have to read your sentences three or four times to figure out what you're saying, just because you're too lazy to write propertly.

        We shdnt waste time 'n b-w just 'caus ur too slow-witted. !!!! lol1!11!!!

        Takes more time, too.

        We waste time riting lik that, u waste som time
  • by cinnamon colbert ( 732724 ) on Thursday March 24, 2005 @03:04PM (#12037962) Journal
    All those horrid things those nasty morse code people do ...
  • Just look at how they're taking control of the situation http://www.microsoft.com/athome/security/children/ kidtalk.mspx
  • can go both ways (Score:5, Informative)

    by PureCreditor ( 300490 ) on Thursday March 24, 2005 @03:05PM (#12037975)
    "blog" is a netspeak, and now it's already commonly accepted as an english word.

    "E-mail" used to be a technical term, and now can be written as plain english in "email".

    "Text" was never a verb until SMS.
  • by tquinlan ( 868483 ) <tom&thomasquinlan,com> on Thursday March 24, 2005 @03:05PM (#12037977) Homepage
    ...as long as people understand regular English (or their respective native language) first, and understand that as with all slang, there is a time and a place for it.

    A lot of people in the "professional" work force don't seem to understand that professionalism is supposed to extend to their written communications, and things like "werd" and "brb" in an email to a higher level executive don't provide a professional image.

  • ... not even a "beast from redomond" or a "chipzilla".

    Not even a TFAD (Troll for a Day)! Shocking, I tell you!

    They really must update their list. We're on internet time here, buddy!

  • WTF (Score:5, Funny)

    by mrtroy ( 640746 ) on Thursday March 24, 2005 @03:06PM (#12037991)
    1999. ROFL.

    2000. 4LL j00r n3tsp34k is w34k

    2001. eye r owns0r joo all!

    Then we all realized it was easier to communicate with normal english, and having both hands on the keyboard is a huge factor ;)

    • Re:WTF (Score:5, Funny)

      by rowanxmas ( 569908 ) on Thursday March 24, 2005 @03:28PM (#12038280)
      So many of us play World of Warcraft these days, needless to say, where your primary communication is through the chat window. In my guild we have members ranging from 16-40+. The only young ones who are able to stay in the guild succesfully are those who can write using "normal" english.

      If they don't, we mock them, example:
      young'en: can neone help me?
      olde 'en: I don't know, "Neone" does not seem to be on right now.
      young'en: what?
      olde 'en: There is no player named "Neone" in our guild.
      young'en: no, i mean i want ANYONE to help me!
      olde 'en: oh! you should have said so in the first place.
      (I make an alt named "Neone" )
      Neone: I can help you! But I am only a level 1 druid...

      And so we teach and encourage proper written communication.
  • Netspeak? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ackthpt ( 218170 ) * on Thursday March 24, 2005 @03:06PM (#12038000) Homepage Journal
    'gf', 'wtf[h]', 'swak', 'asap'
    Some of these are pretty old, probably adopted as netspeak, which should underscore that, like the muck that is the english language, so is netspeak adaptable. What's worse is when k1dz put t3xt m3ss4g3 s14ng 1n th31r p4p3rz. Teachers have seen quite a bit of it, as an article several months back in the San Jose Murky News told of. u for you, mi for me, etc. English if nothing else has accumulated and occasionally discarded words from other languages and even made acronyms words. It's an ongoing thing over generations. Quite a lot comes in from whatever the big social upheaval is at the time a lot of slang came out of WW II with returning GI's

    Don't understand what people are saying today?

    "I dig"
    "uh, no, it's 'word'"
    "word?
    "word!"

    eom/eot/fts

  • The problem is that spelling is often uncorrected. While this is fine for a casual conversation, spelling errors are unproffesional.
    Of course this doesn't mean that some people will not put in the effort to spell correctly when it matters.
  • Spelling & Grammer (Score:5, Interesting)

    by andrew_0812 ( 592089 ) on Thursday March 24, 2005 @03:07PM (#12038009)
    What bothers me is not the acronyms. It is the degradation of spelling and grammer that seems to be rampant on the net. It makes me cringe to see the way that some people communicate. Of course, the problem could have existed in pre-webforum times, and it is just more apparant now.

    P.S. I am intentionally not spell checking this post, because if I mispelled something, it will help to proev my point.
    • by leoboiko ( 462141 ) <leoboiko AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday March 24, 2005 @04:27PM (#12038948) Homepage
      I see it all the time in slashdot. Google returns about 945,000 hits for "grammer". I mean, seriously. I am not an English speaker, and I cannot understand where this error comes from. It's not like the 'a' and 'e' keys are next to each other. It's not a potentially confusing spelling like "it's" vs. "its", or "loose" vs. "lose". And for my foreign, non-English ear, the pronounciation of the 'a' and 'e' vowels are completely distinct.

      WTF people write "grammer"?
      • by Dirtside ( 91468 ) on Thursday March 24, 2005 @05:20PM (#12039513) Journal
        I see it all the time in slashdot. Google returns about 945,000 hits for "grammer". I mean, seriously. I am not an English speaker, and I cannot understand where this error comes from.
        I think you'll find that the frequency of this misspelling has skyrocketed since Frasier came on the air.
      • by Pfhorrest ( 545131 ) on Thursday March 24, 2005 @05:26PM (#12039588) Homepage Journal
        And for my foreign, non-English ear, the pronounciation of the 'a' and 'e' vowels are completely distinct.

        This is why is happens: phonetics. I myself often have trouble remembering which it should be because of this.

        In American English, at least all the dialects I've personally heard, because the emphasis is on the first syllable, the second vowel is often neglected, and since the "a" is is pronounced as a nondescript "uh" in this context (as in both syllables of 'butter'), and the word comes off akin to "gram-rrr".

        R is itself a semivowel, which can be pronounced alone without the use of any other vowels, though it isn't properly written that way. The closest vowel combination to a stand-alone "R" is "er", which is itself very close to the "ar" (with 'a' as 'uh', thus 'uhr') in "grammar", hence the easy confusion.

        I once drew up a thing that you might find useful, deliniating the different vowel and dipthong sounds used in American English, arrayed in order by similarity, and the stupidly large assortment of different written letters that can make those sounds. This is from memory so it might be a bit off...

        VOWEL SOUND
        - LETTER EXAMPLES

        ee
        - "e" in "be", "i" in "sing", "y" in "very", "ea" in "eat", "ee" in "bee".

        ih
        - "i" in "bit"

        aa
        - "a" in "bat"

        ah
        - "o" in "bot", "a" in "car", "augh" as in "caught", "ough" as in "ought", "aw" as in "law"

        eh
        - "e" as in "bet"

        uh
        - "u" as in "but", "a" as in "a thing".

        oh
        - "o" as in "note", "ow" as in "throw", "oa" as in "oats", "eau" as in French

        ouh
        -"oo" as in "book"

        oo
        - "u" as in "dude", "o" as in "do", "oo" as in "pool", "ew" as in "new", "ough" as in "through", "w" as in "now" (as part of a dipthong)

        And there are two dipthongs that sometimes get single-letter representations in English (the rest are just combinations of the above base sounds):

        ee/oo dipthong
        - "u" as in "butane" (pronounced like "you" the second person pronoun)

        ah/ee dipthong
        - "i" as in "kite" (pronounced like "I" the first person pronoun)

        Seriously, English pronunciation is just fucked up in the namespace (amongst many other places). We need like twice as many written vowels as we've got to represent all the sounds.
        • How about this train wreck:

          "ough" is pronounced at least 6 different ways in English:

          "uff" as in "tough" or "rough"
          "ow" as in "bough"
          "oo" as in "through"
          "o" as in "though" (long 'o')
          "aw" as in "thought"
          "off" as in "trough"
      • "Rediculous" (Score:3, Interesting)

        by freeweed ( 309734 )
        As the other poster pointed out, it comes down to most people today learning their spelling from speech. Or so it seems.

        My personal pet peeve, and I've only really noticed this in the past few years, has been the word "ridiculous". Seemingly overnight, half of the under-25 crowd on IRC started typing "rediculous". Drove me bonkers for months. Finally, I went on a very long and pompous tirade about spelling. I couldn't take it anymore.

        Several of them then explained to me that that is how they think it's sp
  • I don't get it (Score:2, Insightful)

    If you can type worth a damn, then it really doesn't save you any time abbreviating everything; it just ends up making you look like a tool. The only time I could consider using such abbreviations is when I'm typing a text message on a phone, or some keyboard that is so hopelessly small that it doesn't lend itself to touch-typing.
  • by cfalcon ( 779563 ) on Thursday March 24, 2005 @03:09PM (#12038038)
    In thirty to forty years, when people can talk easily (or even use video), the netspeak culture will probably be much reduced, if not eliminated. We'll be viewed as antiquated folks, possibly like Beatniks or something, for being so nerdy as to type words all the time. I mean, you have to know how to use a keyboard for that! Ludicrous!

    I like "netspeak". I don't use it much, but I like that a subculture exists, as computers have changed things so much that they very much deserve one. I also like that we've already seen a rapid turnaround: our current abbreviations are one variant, the 31337 stuff another, the variant where vowels are always lowercase and consants uppercase (or the other way around) is pretty much gone now, and the old school one from the DOS based BBSes where people used the extended ASCII set to do similar things has been extint for awhile.

    Still, I think it's cool that they all exist.
  • Have you ever noticed how there's a lot more ambiguity trying to talk to someone over the phone than in person? Has anyone here ever gravely offended someone because of a misinterpreted IM?

    face to face: Body language + tone of voice
    Phone: only tone of voice, losing all the information that bodylanguage brings
    IM: nothing.

    The English language (others too) is at best an incomplete tool of communication. All the subtleties that tone of voice and body language convey are lost over internet chat. Why else would people use those asinine "smileys" to convey their mood? They do this because otherwise, it's rather difficult to get a feel of the other person's mood.
    • While I won't comment on the irony of this post coming from someone named "133t-somethingorother,"
      I agree with you completely. I'm kind of "older" for the IM crowd (early 30s), and in general, I find it absolutely infuriating. It's the most impoverished mode of communication i've ever experienced. All the absence of conversational pragmatics normally present in speech, and none of the well-formed ideas of writing. Email, while it may be half-duplex, at least has the advantage that a single message is int
  • |\|eTZP3@K (Score:2, Funny)

    by bcmm ( 768152 )
    I DON7 re411Y 7]-[|]\[C t]-[at d4 IntERN3t ]-[aZ h4d 4 6r34T YmpakT 0N ZPElLI]\[g @nd 1Yt3R4kY. i m3a|\|, I DOn7 e\/EN Uz3 n3Tspe@c, ! JU57 5P3Ll T]-[1NGz ]\[0Rm@1ly 0gnLi|\|3.
  • Due to improper formatting, everything past LSHMBBB is "off by one".
  • We just need to be concerned if people can't tell when to use one form versus another. In school I was tought not to use "can't" (but to use "can not") in formal writing, but it is perfectly fine in casual writing. Language has many layers to its depth. The fact is "netspeak" fills a role where space is precious, or quick back and forth communication is desired such as in gaming.

    I only worry about speech that is not clear or not precise. Netspeak is clear and precise, though you may have to learn it like
  • OSS Strikes Again (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dteichman2 ( 841599 ) on Thursday March 24, 2005 @03:11PM (#12038068) Homepage
    Hi. I'm in high school. 3 people in my English class just failed a writing assignment because they used "u" instead of "you," "i" instead of "I" and most importantly "cum" instead of "come."

    I'm guessing that English is, in fact, being threatened. If they only used Gaim instead of AIM, they wouldn't have problems with language because it replaces "webspeak" with English.
    • Haha, someone used "cum" in an English paper?! That isn't netspeak. ROFLOMGWTF
      • I have made the mistake of using cum in my postings on slashdot, which always seems to delight and amuse the sixth-grade-male mentality prevalent.

        For those who are ignunt: It is precisely the latin conjuction meaning "with", as in: "I think this new photocopier-cum-papershredder is a disaster waiting to happen." Think of the word "cumulative"

  • ...in the future, according to Joss Whedon's short-lived "Firefly" series, we'll speak a variation of Mandarin Chinese (???).

    And yes, I pretty much don't know WTF I'm talking about.

    IronChefMorimoto
  • by N3wsByt3 ( 758224 ) on Thursday March 24, 2005 @03:11PM (#12038077) Journal
    in the first place... so why should anyone be worried?

    Ofcourse, this is not without controversy -especially with leet-speeking people.

    I tried to have a slashdot article of it, but apparently the Higher Mods were of the opinion leet wasn't interesting enough...untill now (?).

    The reasearchpaper can be found on: http://www.verbumvanum.org/indexlingua.html [verbumvanum.org]

  • Spell checkers (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Sloppyjoes7 ( 556803 ) on Thursday March 24, 2005 @03:12PM (#12038088)
    I'd say the biggest problem isn't 1337 speak, but rather spell checkers. Kids today don't correct their writing unless the spell checker catches the problem.

    Therefore, no one knows how to spell "their," "there," or "they're" anymore. Same with your/you're and many others.

    Sadly, teacher I know are getting lax on punishing these errors, as the problems are so common everyone's scores would be too low.


    Besides, can't you just add "lol" to the spell checker's dictionary?
  • by geoffrobinson ( 109879 ) on Thursday March 24, 2005 @03:15PM (#12038116) Homepage
    He gets IM-related poor grammar/spelling all the time from his kids.
  • by Ironsides ( 739422 ) on Thursday March 24, 2005 @03:19PM (#12038184) Homepage Journal
    Some people are worried about the purity of the english language? Since when did we become French?
  • by katsiris ( 779774 ) on Thursday March 24, 2005 @03:21PM (#12038193)
    Of course there's nothing wrong with playing with acronyms and trying to increase the efficiency of communications. I'm sometimes wonder about these so-called short-cuts not really being shortcuts (many of them are a lot harder to type than the actual word), but I don't think the concern is slang destroying english.

    Rather, it's the laziness involving a complete lack of punctuation and other more subtle elements of the language which convey the tone and perhaps intent that is worrisome. Combine that with self-correcting software like spell checkers, and essentially a person never really develops communications skills beyond a certain point. And then they carry themselves in text communications as idiots.

    A friend applied for a job that he wasn't really interested in and received a form-letter rejection via email, riddled with grammatical errors, incorrect usage of some words (they're/their/there, then/than), and so on. He corrected the letter rather sarcastically and sent it back to them and they actually apologized AND offered him the job! Apparently people who can write english as well as speak it are in short supply.

    • Rather, it's the laziness involving a complete lack of punctuation and other more subtle elements of the language which convey the tone and perhaps intent that is worrisome. Combine that with self-correcting software like spell checkers, and essentially a person never really develops communications skills beyond a certain point. And then they carry themselves in text communications as idiots.
      Indeed. It is not so much the use of Netspeak as it occurs on the Internet, but that it has a tendency to creep in
  • by jimbro2k ( 800351 ) on Thursday March 24, 2005 @03:23PM (#12038221)
    Unlike French, which is guarded by the French Academy, there is no "official", or "regular" English language.
    Instead, there are about 500 Million Plus individual languages, each varying in the number of common elements, which are all collectively called the "English Language".

    Unless I have a bigger gun than you, your version of English is just as "correct" as mine.
  • by doublem ( 118724 ) on Thursday March 24, 2005 @03:25PM (#12038243) Homepage Journal
    Why am I filled with a nameless dread as I open this discussion? Why do I fear what I shall find?

    I fear I shall see a plethora of posts, all alike in their incoherent use of obscure, incomprehensible acronyms and abbreviations, intelligible only to residents of the deepest rings of the Internet's darkest places.

    I fear that, upon reading the content contained herein, I hall be inundated with the text chat of the Deep Old Ones.

    I fear such things, and what they portend for the future of language.
  • by antdude ( 79039 ) on Thursday March 24, 2005 @03:31PM (#12038320) Homepage Journal
    ... let The English-to-12-Year-Old-AOLer Translator [homestead.com] do it for you.

    Source [aqfl.net]. ;)
  • by EXTomar ( 78739 ) on Thursday March 24, 2005 @03:39PM (#12038403)
    Is English the ultimate 'pidigin' language? *shrug* It does seem to absorb everything.

    English is built upon 30% French, 30% 'Latinate', 30% West German, and the rest is what was lying around the British Islands (Celtic, Galegic, etc.). All of these influences happened because Britan was invaded...a lot. It has touched many cultures and been everywhere. Grammar and spelling rules are more dictated by historical reasons than pheonetic. It is also heavily 'exported' all over the world due to world influence of Britian and now the US.

    Is it bad that Instant Messenger programs and computers communciation in general is changing English? Not really. It just shows that English is very much a living language. Besides I consider it to be a transitive thing: people generate grammatic errors and chose different patters because of the keyboard input. Once technology evolves to something different for the primary Human-Machine interface then this will be less of an issue.
  • by Pollux ( 102520 ) <{speter} {at} {tedata.net.eg}> on Thursday March 24, 2005 @03:40PM (#12038409) Journal
    I keep getting assignments constantly from my students with sentences that:

    1) Do not have anything capitalized
    2) Do not have periods at the end of the sentence
    3) Are run-on sentences
    4) Oftentimes have shortcuts for words (the most common being 'u' for the word "you").

    Does anybody know where these habits are coming from?
    • by Lxy ( 80823 ) on Thursday March 24, 2005 @04:54PM (#12039240) Journal
      Does anybody know where these habits are coming from?

      There's always the possiblity that you suck as a teacher. One thing that pissed me off in high school was bad teaching. If an entire class fails a math test, retakes it, and fails again, the problem is most likely not the stsudents. Either the test is poorly written or the teacher didn't do their job.

      I'm not saying that you're neccesarily the problem, I'm just asking you to examine yourself first if it's a seemingly widespread problem.
  • by Viadd ( 173388 ) on Thursday March 24, 2005 @04:07PM (#12038759)
    The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don't just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and riffle their pockets for new vocabulary.
    --James Nicoll
    • Re:Famous quote (Score:3, Insightful)

      Or, to put it in Slashdot terms, English is the Borg, devouring all other languages and adding their unique characteristics to its own. Resistance is futile.

      I will feel a certain amount of schadenfreud concerning the impending demise of other languages.

"You're a creature of the night, Michael. Wait'll Mom hears about this." -- from the movie "The Lost Boys"

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