Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Sociolinguistics of Twitter

While reading, I came across this definition of Sociolinguistics: "The study of language use in social context, including perceived rules for interacting with others depending upon their age, gender, status, and so forth." (A Teacher's Guide to Diversity) As a language teacher and student, I couldn't help but wonder if anyone has started researching Twitter within this field. A cursory investigation brought up an interesting article from the Toronto Star called "Social media could help spread regional words." The idea that culture and language are now changing faster than ever due to the internet and social media is fascinating. It seems me that these tools will also encourage code-switching, which in and of itself is a fascinating phenomenon. Here's my question to you: Have you picked up any new words or phrases in this manner and found yourself using them in your everyday language? If so, please share them below and be sure to let us know the context and meaning of these words to you. Thanks for playing! :)

1 comment:

  1. My students said overwhelmingly that Facebook has made writing in Standard English more difficult. Writing chracterized by grammatical and punctuational shortcuts is force of habit and permeates writing where it may be inappropriate. Some students said that writing that is so focused on conciseness and economy of language has made meeting page requirements difficult. "How can I possibly have more than two pages worth of things to say?"

    As much as I champion the increased writing that comes with social networking, I can't help but see how many students have simply moved to one code to rule them all with the "Standard English code--possibly the most powerful in terms of employability and status--quickly falling by the wayside.