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  1. #1
    GrantFord is offline Newbie
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    Default The way the net effects the english language.

    Hello, my name is Grant and i am from New Zealand.

    I am doing a group assignment for my Polytech Course on the positive effects of internet 'text language' on the English language.

    I can't really think of any positive effects, and i doubt there are any, but could someone help me out here? Could we maybe have a discussion/debate on the positive & negative effects of the way the internet has changed the English language

    Cheers. Hope a few people can get involved in this.

    -Grant

  2. #2
    Barb_D's Avatar
    Barb_D is online now Moderator
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    Default Re: The way the net effects the english language.

    Hi Grant, and welcome to Using English.

    I used to think that the Internet was having a bad effect. But then I started really paying attention to my own child, a teenager. Her writing in e-mails to her friends makes my cringe: Hy! Meh... All kinds of non-words and random punctuation.

    Then I read her essays that she writes for school. They are perfect.

    I don't think that ghastly Internet speech has improved anything, but it hasn't distracted from her abilty to write good, cogent arguments using entirely standard English.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  3. #3
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: The way the net effects the english language.

    It can be highly annoying when used out of context, but I do think it is very useful for speeding up communication, and creates something between speech and writing. If I look at old chat messages for some information, they can often make little sense, but at the time, they worked effectively to communicate. The abbreviations IMO/BRB/AFAIK, etc, are convenient chunks that can be dropped in at speed.

    When I am working on something on the site with the webmaster, I may get a message ? (Did that work) and I can reply (Yes, it did) (It's great) ! (No) !!!! (Disaster), etc. We're on opposite sides of the world, yet able to communicate an awful lot with a couple of keystrokes. It can an economical way of communicating on a very close level. When used for its intended purpose - direct communication with a like-minded person or group - I think there's much to recommend it. When it's used to communicate generally, it can be intrusive and hard to read.

    Also, it's a highly creative area with endless neologisms, massive over-lexicalisation and so on, which gives it a playfulness and inventiveness. I think the language is richer for having noob, w00t, meh, teh_ and so on.

    On the negative side, concerns are being flagged up about young people who seem only capable of writing in text speak, though as Barb_D's daughter shows, it's just another skill to many. We get people using it here in the forum, but most change when asked. The occasional one complains that it is their right not to use capital letters, etc, as it's the internet. There must be cases of people whose literacy skills don't go much beyond text, but I honestly don't know how widespread it is and what literacy skills these people would have acquired without text speak. The more excitable British newspapers published dramatic articles about it, but they would.

  4. #4
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: The way the net effects the english language.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    On the negative side, concerns are being flagged up about young people who seem only capable of writing in text speak...
    That is one of my main concerns. It hasn't happened to Barb's daughter, but it seems to be happening to some - including some of the would-be teachers I have trained.

    There also seems to be a diminishing awareness of appropriacy and awareness. Despite my advanced age, I am not in favour of the over-formality of the past, but the informality of the net seems to make a young, reasonably well-educated trainee teacher think it acceptable to walk into his first training session and greet his ageing trainer with, "Hi dude, wotsup?" I don't.

  5. #5
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: The way the net effects the english language.

    I agree with both of these statements:

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    There must be cases of people whose literacy skills don't go much beyond text, but I honestly don't know how widespread it is and what literacy skills these people would have acquired without text speak.
    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    There also seems to be a diminishing awareness of appropriacy and awareness. Despite my advanced age, I am not in favour of the over-formality of the past, but the informality of the net seems to make a young, reasonably well-educated trainee teacher think it acceptable to walk into his first training session and greet his ageing trainer with, "Hi dude, wotsup?" I don't.
    For the first group, maybe their Internet-speak is the highest level they would have obtained in any case. Sometimes I read the comments posted after an online article, and these people are often NOT using chat abbreviations, but they are unable to form simple sentences to create a point without horrific grammar and spelling mistakes. Pehaps "Yup! I agree wid U!" is better than what they could compose in standard English.

    For the second group, I don't know which is the symptom and which is the cause.

    I think another phenomenon started with MTV, when no camera angle was held for more than 3 seconds. I think there is a general inability to stay on focus, and I'm worried that this will interfere with the next generation's ability to think critically. But although the Internet has allowed that to blossom, I don't think it's the cause.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  6. #6
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: The way the net effects the english language.

    Attention span may be another area where there are negative affects.

  7. #7
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: The way the net effects the english language.

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    Despite my advanced age, I am not in favour of the over-formality of the past, but the informality of the net seems to make a young, reasonably well-educated trainee teacher think it acceptable to walk into his first training session and greet his ageing trainer with, "Hi dude, wotsup?" I don't.
    Can't say I do either. Please tell me it wasn't a British person saying dude.

  8. #8
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: The way the net effects the english language.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    Can't say I do either. Please tell me it wasn't a British person saying dude.
    I can, thankfully, confirm that. However, my son (32, and a TEFLer!) and his friends seem to be heading that way.

  9. #9
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    doodles is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: The way the net effects the english language.

    the intanet haz not infected My English at al

  10. #10
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: The way the net effects the english language.

    Shouldn't that be:
    teh intanet haz not infectid My english AT AL!!!!!
    Call yourself a teacher.

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