Language & ICT

. : : the ICT how we see (and speak) it : : .

So we’re NETSPEAKing…

OMG, someone actually pingback this very blog!

Who would’ve thought, ey?

FYI, the author was “sitting on the fence” between FB and Twitter so he used my blog s n example to clarify his tendency; clarifying the pros and the cons.

If this is Yahoo! Messenger or a diary blog, I would’ve written it that way or maybe simpler.  (This blog is rather semi-formal for me).  Now, this is what we call Netspeak, an internet language or slang used by any internet users for some purposes related to the characteristics of the Internet itself.  Moreover, as defined,

“Netspeak is the special language, abbreviations, and expressions used by people when communicating using the Internet.” ~

That definition should give us a clear idea, shouldn’t it?  We can say that any form of language used while communicating via Internet tools and applications is Netspeak.  These services promotes effective and expressive type of communication between users.  For example, there are loads of interactive features available when we use it:  emoticons, smileys, images, videos, audios, links and even pingback.  In the Net, we write not on our own but with others.

People, since we’re talking about language in the context of Internet language, then the prefect man for this subject of matter is none other than the language guru, David Crystal.  Who is he?

*  Professor David Crystal.

* Specialized in English Language Studies from University College London

* Had successfully conducted various research regarding language

* Has published 100++ books

* Currently an Honorary Professor of Linguistics at University of Wales, Bangor


David Crystal’s approach to Internet slang or Internet language or Netspeak is very open.  Rather than considering Netspeak as a form of language abuse, he accepts it as a language revolution along side the development of technology.  David Crystal considers the impact of Netspeak as, simply without prejudice, a new medium.  Nowadays, the communication using technology has evolved around messages instead of grammatical or conventional, proper language.

With technology, Netspeak somehow adapts itself to, initially, fit into a 160-characters limit mobile phone text messaging compose.  Things seem to move on well from there.  Whether via Internet, like, social networking services, instant messaging and chat rooms, there often is characters limit for each post or status.  This limits applies the modern technology principle: simple, straight-forward and fast.  Hence the Netspeak becomes very efficient and helpful.  Most words are abbreviated or spelling-altered according to phonology.  For instance…


  • GMTA: Great Minds Think Alike
  • BCBC: Beggars Can’t Be Choosers
  • GBU: God Bless You

Spelling-altered According to Morphology

  • Ate: 8
  • Late: l8
  • Been: Bn
  • To: 2

(More examples can be further read in

Besides, emoticons may replace you, facially, artificially.

If that is not enough, punctuation plays a big role in expressing emotions.  For example…

I will!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
What does this form of sentence make you feel?  The writer is rather very determined,  or maybe, annoyed?  As though it may seem ambiguous at some point, the emotion can be determined according to the context of the discussion. (And the exclamation mark can go on and on and on and on depending on the liking of the writer)

What????” and “What?”

In academic writing, the former is not acceptable because it does not indicate professionalism of the author, it may look biased and emotional.  However, sticking to the rule that ‘there is no rule’ in using technology as a communication medium, especially informal, you can use as many punctuation as you like.  The former shows how the message recipient is shocked while the latter seems curious.  Besides, isn’t it funny how we use punctuation to replace OUR facial expressions?

But wait, Netspeak is not just all about cutting words short, or putting up motionless or motioned pictures, or toying around with characters.  On the very bright side, Netspeak allows human to be creative with words; an art that may change by time, but favor us by the moment.  It represents the transformation of how communication takes place using language.  We know that language changes according to human and cultures; and now it is also molded by technology.  It epitomizes the existence of a new human generation by the existence of a new medium of communicating. Well, literally it is not that new.  It has started to evolve in the early of the twentieth century, and I sense it will keep evolving until the end of humankind.

Before I leave you, please do watch this clip.  This is David Crystal and his view on Internet Language.

*all credit goes to David Crystal and Macmillan English

Source: David Crystal’s official website-


March 2, 2010 Posted by | CMC, Language & ICT | , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments