THE POSITIVE INFLUENCE OF THE LANGUAGE OF SOCIAL MEDIA ON THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE

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ABSTRACT

The boom in the use of social media in our time has no doubt brought a lot alteration in different language conventions. The early users of social media battled with space and time. Since social media language is in the borderline of speech and writing they created unusual acronyms and some other new words, like ‘u’, ur, ‘unfriend’ etc not only to communicate faster but also to maximize the limited space they have. Some linguists began to protest as these coinages were not only used within the circle of social media and informal writing but began to get into the mainstream of the English language. They see it as a threat to their language.

This paper takes a different stand as it sees this trend as sign of language change. We know that people’s passion for their language has propelled them to constantly keep vigil to make sure it is protected. This has led to the creation of ‘Dos’ and ‘Don’ts’ which have continued to hinder the operations of the language. But language change is so subtle that the users hardly realize when it occurs. This shows that they do not consciously bring this change. Though they are the drivers of this change, they do not know how it happens. Any language that finally ends up in the cage of ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ has fallen into the danger list and may be forgotten soon.

We should not lose sight of the fact that both the rigidity and the flexibility of a language are domiciled in the language community, and that calls to mind what Noam Chomsky calls langue. Language tilts towards death any time linguists, in the spirit of protecting their language, try to stop the language users from exploring their creativity in the language. While Chapter one is the general introductory overview, chapter two gives the conceptual account of Language Change and reviews the literature in this area till date. Being a linguistic study, chapter three presents the nature of the data involved in this study and shows how the data were collected and the method and processes involved in their analysis. Chapter four presents the results and analyses them. The summary and the conclusions of the study are made in chapter five.


From our findings it is evident that the language of social media is not a threat to the English language. It is, therefore, pertinent that linguists begin to see the language of social media as an agent of linguistic revolution.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title Page
Abstract
Table of contents

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
1.1       Background to the Study
1.2       Statement of the Problem
1.3       Research Questions
1.4       Purpose of Study
1.5       Significance of Study
1.6       Scope of Study
1.7       The Dynamism of Language
1.8       Computer-Mediated Language (CML)
1.9       Facebook
1.10     Twitter

CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW
2.1       Literature Review
2.2       The English and the Language of Social Media
2.3       Morphological Processes in the Language of Social Media
2.3.1    Acronym
2.3.2    Derivation
2.3.3    Clipping

CHAPTER THREE: THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK AND METHODOLOGY
3.1       Theoretical Framework
3.2       Social Theory of Language Change
3.2.2    Natural Law
3.2.3    Area of Study
3.2.4    Causes of Language Change
3.4       Methodology
3.5       Case Study Method
3.6       Area of Study
3.7       Population
3.8       Sample and Sampling Technique
3.9       Research Instrument
3.10     Method of Data Analysis

CHAPTER FOUR: ANALYSIS OF DATA
4.1       Introduction
4.2       The Language of Social Media in Public Notices
4.3       Textspeaks Found in Dictionary
4.4       Other Dictionary Words from Social Media
4.5       The New Linguistic Functions of Textspeaks

CHAPTER FIVE: DISCUSSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
5.0       Discussions
5.1       Conclusion
            Works Cited


CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION


1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY

Social media is the social interaction among people in which they create, share or exchange information and ideas in virtual communities and networks. In Andreas Kaplan and Michael Haenlein’s definition, social media is ‘a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, and that allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content’ (para 1)
Social Media is the future of communication, a countless array of internet-based tools and platforms that increase and enhance the sharing of information. This new form of media makes the transfer of text, photos, audio, video, and information in general increasingly fluid among internet users. Social media has relevance not only for regular internet users, but for business as well. Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Whatsapp have created online communities where people can share as much or as little personal information as they desire with other members. The result is an enormous amount of information that can be easily shared, searched, promoted, disputed, and created.

Social Bookmarking tools and news sites such as Digg, Delicious, reddit, and countless others make finding specific information, images, or websites increasingly simple by assigning or “tagging” individual sites with searchable key words.

Applications that have developed within and around these platforms, websites, and tools are endless in number and functionality, but all make online sharing and searching easier in some fashion, regardless of their niche. As nearly every type of business has an association in the non-digital world, so too does the internet offer an endless number of niche to social communitieswhere members can gather around a common topic. Topics both – general and specific – now have living homes on the internet; anything from colon and digestive health to security and compliance can and do have active social media communities (para1)

Therefore, the ascendency of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has made the world a global village, and social media has contributed immensely in enhancing the standard of world communication. Jan H. Kietzmann et al present a framework that defines social media by using seven functional building blocks: identity, conversations, sharing, presence, relationships, reputation, and groups.

                      Identity: This block represents the extent to which users reveal their identities in a social media setting. This can include disclosing information such as name, age, gender, profession, location, and also information that portrays users in certain ways.

                     Conversations: This block represents the extent to which users communicate with other users in a social media setting. Many social media sites are designed primarily to facilitate conversations among individuals and groups. These conversations happen for all sorts of reasons. People tweet, blog, et cetera to meet new like-minded people, to find true love, to build their self-esteem, or to be on the cutting edge of new ideas or trending topics. Yet others see social media as a way of making their message heard and positively impacting humanitarian causes, environmental problems, economic issues, or political debates.

                     Sharing: This block represents the extent to which users exchange, distribute, and receive content. The term ‘social’ often implies that exchanges between people are.......


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