I was that kid whose favourite subject was English. I belonged to that rare species of people who actually enjoyed learning about grammar. Growing up, I came to think of languages as one of the most fascinating things and began learning French, Spanish, Sanskrit in a bid to make a career out of it. I even had my Grammar Nazi phase (not the attention-seeking annoying troll), and would always be the one correcting my friends’ language errors.
And then I stopped. Why? Because I realised that as we were evolving, our language and its rules were evolving too. Yep, even a rigid, orthodox language like English. And who are we to hamper such evolution, right?
One of the biggest factors to influence this evolution of language are—drumroll please—we, the Millennials! The world calls it Internet slang. But what it actually is, is a whole new language that’s being developed. And here’s the perfect testament to this fact.
Twitter user Deanna Hoak shared a screenshot of a Tumblr post that talks about how our generation has managed to create a whole new lingo using what normally you’re call ‘incorrect English’.
My master’s was in sociolinguistics, and I absolutely see this as true. pic.twitter.com/lbHwjSQPYj
— Deanna Hoak (@DeannaHoak) March 4, 2018
Unlike what a lot of people think, this incorrect grammar, spelling modifications, and carefree usage of punctuation and caps are anything but random!
Don’t believe me? Okay, let me ask you this. How do you always know that when your friend adds a ‘full stop’ after her ‘okay’ while texting, she is pissed at you? Or how is it that when someone puts up a status update in all caps, you literally read it with a loud voice in your head?
And those “quotes” people use around certain words to denote a “pun”? Or a hashtag in a sentenced to denote it has something to do with #socialmedia and #trends?
Exactly! There’s a method to this madness and we’re all subconsciously adhering to a set of unspoken/unwritten rules of this new language!
And this makes us millennials native speakers of a whole new language! How cool is that? No wait, how COOL is that?
(See what I did there with the caps?)
Our reliable Twitter Fam was totally on board with this idea of birthing a new lingo and found the whole thing to be relatable AF!
It may have started with emoji usage and internet slang like FYI and LOL, but it’s no more just a joke you can ROFL over, TBH! This is happening, it is legit and we’re all like, “Dude, SAME!”
1. This generation doesn’t want to waste its time with being pompous. It wants things to be short and lays emphasis on the right things to convey exactly what they want, on point!
THIS. See also the ways in which we emphatically add our agreement, the different ways in which we *emphasise* the important or mock the ~important~, express our utter suRPRISE, and use emoji to better convey tone with concise language 🤔
Not to mention the Art of meme humour ✨ https://t.co/eyPGdPR7oD
— Thal (@thalestral) March 4, 2018
I vote for Memes to be a legit language! *starts a petition*
2. I see you’ve made YOUR POINT!
My favorite has to be capitalizing Important Words because it has this weird complex meaning
It can be used for normal emphasis, but it can also be used for subtle mocking
For example “I think that was The Point” vs “wow he just destroyed you with Facts And Logic”
— Cuniiform (@cuniiform) March 5, 2018
3. It’s awesome but if we could please SToP WriTING liKE ThIs!
I love subtle differences in caps ex
that suPRISED ME
wHAt ThE FfUcK
— Cuniiform (@cuniiform) March 5, 2018
4. How many ‘O’s and ‘A’s in a ‘Whoa’ signify I am genuinely thrilled with this observation?
Another thing I think is interesting is the use of “oh” –
“o” – “ohhh” – and “oooo”. generally leaving “h”s and adding multiple characters gives a completely different vibe, or is that just me?
— LEGIANA COCK (@birbdere) March 6, 2018
5. So, like, do you guys do this too or is it just me,,,
People have also begun to substitute periods for commas in ellipses to give more of an unsure, uneasy tone. I’m guilty of doing it a lot whenever I’m nervous about something I’m saying; like asking “are you sure,,,,” or saying “ok,,,” when I think someone is angry
— sara✨ (@nezahuaIpilli) March 4, 2018
6. As if one Period wasn’t enough cause for trouble, here comes another period!
yes -> a simple answer to a y/n question
yes. -> i'm answering your question but I'm annoyed
.. -> I dont need to finish this thought because you understand, and it makes me sad
… -> I dont need to finish this thought because you understand/general ellipses usage
— Rachel 'Słodka Idiotka' Suburbia (@Rachel_Destross) March 4, 2018
7. It’s different for different languages and cultures, of course. So you gotta be careful with your interpretations!
And it's different depending on cultures/languages too! French people use exclamation marks much more than English speakers do; in the first text i ever got from an anglophone all the sentences ended with periods and I thought they were *pissed*
— Hugo Labrande (@hlabrande) March 4, 2018
8. The “Ok/Okay/K/ok.” Conundrum!
When you email your boss to let him know you're sick & his response back is "ok…"
"Is he questioning the legitimacy of my illness? Does he think I'm lying? Should I get a doctor's note? Have I used too many sick days? Was he counting on me coming in today? Is he mad?" pic.twitter.com/OHqn346DoG
— Jessie Weis (@jessweis1) March 4, 2018
9. People shared their own experiences of encountering these nuances and how it has changed their perception of a certain situation.
i dont differentiate .. and … myself but i use ………………. for emphasis A Lot
— ludamn (@hongstrashbin) March 5, 2018
The difference is indeed interesting, which is what makes this new language DOPE!
I'm honestly wondering about those subtle nuances they mentioned between "yes" and "yes.", ".." and "…"
I suspect some of it's not as universally understood as implied there, but it'd be interesting to hear anyway!
— Shjade (@Shjade) March 4, 2018
10. It got super fun when parents chimed in with their anecdotes about getting acquainted to this ‘lingo’ thanks to their kids!
Yeah, I know how THAT feels!
My teenage daughter has had to learn that I am not mad at her when I end my texts with periods.
— ᴰᵃᵛᵉ ᴾʳᵒᵛᵒˢᵗ (@davidprovost) March 5, 2018
‘K’ has just gotten some bad reputation!
Ha. Yeah, my daughter texted me "k." in reply to something a couple years ago because she was irritated at me. It backfired, because she spent the next few months thinking I was mad at her because I kept replying the same way, thinking that's just how the kids did it. 😀
— Deanna Hoak (@DeannaHoak) March 4, 2018
Oh you smart, fam!
I love this. Open-ended "k" can be fine in the proper context, but generally, "k" alone or with punctuation is frowned upon. My kid and I will use it with each other, but it's contextually understood.
— Turtoise Skellington (@somethingpc) March 4, 2018
SURE, she isn’t pissed at you. I mean, why would she use a period otherwise, right? RIGHT?
Yes! My mom always ends her messages to me with a full stop (or period) and I always read that as a stern or angry tone. Tbh I’m still pretty sure I’m right about that though.
— ✨ eirlys ❄️ (@angrymaggie) March 4, 2018
I remember about every English teacher I've every had trying to kill this type of communication… JOKES ON YOU 😁😁😁 https://t.co/pjEsk8N2gK
— Dan Wilder (@danwilder08) March 7, 2018
12. *sobs gently over my Wren & Martin*
Language is such a beautiful thing.
— Dark cold empty lost (@nothereforme) March 5, 2018
13. *Mic Drop*
Now when you judge young people for having "poor grammar in their texts" consider that they're actually more clever and pragmatic than you are in yours, and developed their practices spontaneously to overcome the limitations imposed by the legacy of QWERTY and Mavis Beacon. https://t.co/bfg7juKDCL
— Chris Messina // molly.com/chris (@chrismessina) March 4, 2018
Congratulations to all millennials! Just another feather in that already glittery, sequin-encrusted cap of yours!
— Caro Rowland (@CaroRowland) March 4, 2018
#Millennials #SoProud #Goals
*Adds this language to my resume* 😎 https://t.co/BSS8YcgmCD
— YouTubeFanAsF (@YouTubeFanAsF) March 7, 2018