Ok, so the other day, me & my wife were arguing how to pronounce the word ‘blog‘. For some idiosyncratic reason i’ve always pronounced it as ‘blowg’. So my wife searched the internet, played me the pronunciation from various websites & even played youtube videos of some famous bloggers. All this to “drill some sense into my head” apparently. But I refused to budge. The correct way to say it may be ‘blog’, but I still wanted to call it ‘blowg’. It was my own way of saying it, I said & the internet allowed me the freedom to do & say as I wanted! And indeed it does.
There was a time when grammar & syntax were strictly adhered to. School teachers have taught many of us that we had to follow the way certain things were said & written because that was the only way of doing it. But all that was before internet! Before it exploded & became a worldwide phenomenon. Before it trickled down to the masses. Now languages truly belong to the people. People are free to use & modify them as they please.
Take the case of 1337 (or leet for the uninitated), with its unique combination of letters, numbers & characters which people use to express themselves. In the pre-internet era, use of 1337 would have been considered inappropriate. Say w00t & you would be branded as nerd, geek & what not. Society just didn’t have the right mindset for it. But today, it is more commonplace & even people beyond technocrats & computer geeks can be seen using expressions such as w00t & n00b. As computers & technology become more widespread, so will be the acceptance of 1337.
When I was working for a giant multinational corporation (regular readers will know which one) :), it was common practice to send & receive mails that said for example “Pls let me know wen u will b free”. People accustomed to BlackBerry & text messaging have carried over the syntax to email, internet, social media & everyday life. So don’t be surprised if you get an email from your boss or peer that reads “Let’s catch up @ 3 ovr coffee”. It is now totally acceptable to use such language at work!
Oh yes! And one more thing! 🙂 Smileys! In the initial days of the internet revolution, use of a smiley in a communication would have branded you as a kid, immature, whatever! But today, smileys are as commonplace as breakfast cereal. Since it’s so hard to convey yourself over written communication (say email), people have adopted smileys to make it easier to express themselves. Big & powerful corporate head honchos use smileys in the emails to drive & motivate their teams. Financial analysts use smileys to animate & personify their calculations (open up microsoft excel & you shall see an array of different smileys which you can use to represent your facts & figures).
So dear wifey, I guess you’re going to hear the word “blowg” from me more often than not. Coz d internet has givn me d freedom 2 exprss myself! As for you, the reader, don’t be afraid to twist, mix language the way you want. You have the right. You have the power to do it.
How do you use language when communicating? Do you stick to traditional grammar, syntax or do you go the 1337 way? Do let us know through your comments.
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