Hypothesis: Spoken language is modified when we communicate online. Now, online language is influencing the way we speak in person and expressions are losing their true meaning.
This piece of writing will take a closer look at how our spoken dialogue has been simplified; suitable for online-friendly use, and how this secondary language has started to modify the original way of communicating: spoken language. The text will also identify how expressions and phrases are losing their meaning and how formality is growing trivial and insignificant in the cycle and journey in the evolution of language.
Before we can understand how our online and texting language is influencing the form of language it is originally based on, we must apprehend how online communication was set up by spoken language. With technology advancing at rapid speed, digital communication grew into fashion in no time; you can access anyone, anywhere at anytime. However, the irritation of having to write everything we usually would say out loud made people lazy and shortly abbreviations, acronyms, and informality created an online code. “Got to go” became “gtg”, “I don’t know” became “idk” and punctuation… who can be bothered with that? A new generation of language has been born.
The following points that this text will discuss, will support my hypothesis by demonstrating the evolution from spoken language, to online language and eventually back to spoken language again; also portraying how expressions lose their meanings along the way.
Laughter is a perfect example of how expressions have evolved through digital conversation. When something is really funny, we laugh; and as we translate this into an online and written form it becomes “lol” (“laugh out loud”) or “haha” as a reaction to something an individual finds humorous. With this example, we can identify how the expression of laughter has grown to lack meaning and truth: it’s terribly easy for people to hide behind their screen and reply to a joke with “lol” or “haha” when really, they are not laughing at all. The person at the other side of the conversation, behind a different screen and in a different place has no way of proving if the person they are communicating with really finds their joke funny or not. Now, this reaction has grown into spoken language: people have started to make the sound “haha” or “lol” rather than laughing. This example is not only showing how laughter is evolving but also raising the idea of that the expressions “haha” and “lol” are losing their original meaning. If the joke was truly funny, wouldn’t we laugh?
Emoticons, more commonly known as emojis are another way to express an emotion in online language that would be obvious in a conversation, face to face. Small symbols representing different emotions and facial expressions portray the feelings of the person sending the emoticon. When receiving news online that would make you sad, you can reply with a simple sad-face-emoji: these symbols work as substitutes for our faces. We can use emojis in the same way that we can use the phrases “lol” and “haha”, nobody can tell what we are truly feeling inside as we sit hidden behind a screen. The use of emojis have developed to grow more exaggerated as time passes: this is the example of a language change from spoken language to online or digital, supports my hypothesis by stating the modifications between spoken verbalisation and expressing what we feel in a digital environment, focusing on the ease of exaggeration without anyone being able to detect it.
“Oh my gosh” another example supporting my hypothesis in similar ways which laughter does. The expression is used to show a shocked or surprised reaction, and when texting, the expression is shortened down to “omg.” Just like with laughter, an expression isn’t just a word: its body language and facial expression, making it harder to detect if a person is truly surprised when typing “omg.” This acronym has been brought into the spoken language again, and is used by spelling out the letters “o-m-g.” People either use it when they do in fact find something truly shocking, exciting or surprising, but it’s commonly used with a lack of emphasis and body language or even used with irony.
A range of changes in our language is identified when exploring the evolution of language in further detail. After examining the changes and modifications in communication from spoken language to online language and back to spoken language, we can conclude with the evidence that some changes in language from spoken to digital can be strong enough to influence the form of language they were created from: spoken language. Some are not. We can also analyze how the meaning and seriousness of expressions fade along the journey of the remodeling and transformation of language, making it hard to divide irony or exaggeration from true genuineness. Taking all aspects into account, this text has stated how the hypothesis is valid: backed with the evidence provided, as well as the text highlights the significance of digital technology in the modern-day evolution of language.