An Online Evolution of Language

The topic of how the face of the English language is changing, especially because of the Internet, has been stewing in my mind for months. As a writer, the power of language and communication is of personal interest. As someone who has a relatively solid grasp of grammar and spelling, I used to fall on the side of traditionalism.


But, like language, my opinion has evolved.

Be gentle with me as I try to explain. My whole world paradigm has shifted, and I’m still sorting through the rubble.

This admission is coming about now because of something I learned from Boing Boing this week. No, seriously.

Near the end of December humorist Stephen Fry (of Blackadder fame) released his latest podcast focusing on the subject of language.

From Boing Boing:

The latest Stephen Fry podcast, “Language,” is an outstanding rant on the absurdity of being a pedant about the English language, that most glorious, reeling drunken bastard of a tongue that has neither academy nor dictator to rule on “correctness” and so has blossomed into a million variegated subforms in every corner of the globe.

It’s true. No matter how many “i”s before “e”s you drill into your brain, there are always exceptions. English has borrowed so much from so many other languages that its changing nature is almost inherent. And where would we be if words like Google were never verbified by the masses?

There are more blog posts and articles than I can count on how improper grammar makes you look dumb and how bloggers are ruining the English language. However, there are a few that argue the opposite, and those are the ones that really made me think. Consider this:

Copywriting Grammar Ain’t Perfect by Susan Gunelius at – Susan’s gist is that there is a balance to find between arrogant grammar elitist and unprofessional slob. As in, you’re not writing for an English teacher; you’re writing for your audience. Feel free to use contractions, dangling prepositions, slang, fragments, and one-sentence paragraphs.

A Linguist Explains Why Texting and Tweeting Aren’t Ruining the English Language by Anna Lovine. Lovine explains that some people have concerns about the language used in internet conversations replacing the English language, such as emojis. She concludes that emojis are more like a gesture, rather than a language. In other words, it’s more of an idea that is represented compared to actual words conveying specific things. She says that people should not be worried about that, that emojis are more of an enhancement to existing language than anything else. She also explains that just because emojis are being used doesn’t mean we don’t talk.

How the Internet is saving the interjection by Ben Yagoda at – While for the most part Internet users’ lax attitude has led to a lowering of language standards, it looks like one part of speech is actually gaining strength. The addition of “meh” to the dictionary shows how quickly such turns of phrase are adopted if they provide the ability to communicate so much with so little effort.

In an older post, Big Bloggers, Bad Grammar by IBabel at – Mr. Babel initially complains about big-name bloggers who have less-than-stellar grammar and spelling. But, he concedes that the bloggers he calls out, like Shoemoney and Darren Rowse, are actually his favorite because of the quality of their content. More proof that grammar and spelling don’t make much of a difference.

Much changed from the time I came up with the idea for this post to the time I actually wrote it. I converted from conventional grammarian to pragmatic communicator. My concern shifted from maintaining the sanctity of an age-old language to accepting it as a means of exchanging ideas and ideals of our age. I see now that we should not keep language on a pedestal like some museum antique, but rather use it, make it our own, and communicate with it in whatever way our audience will understand.

Let’s put aside the arguments over perfection and focus on clarity. And if that fails, remember…

Ready to reshape your language in your blogs and on your website? Talk to us.

FAQ: How is Online Language Evolution shaping our communication in the digital age?

Online language evolution has emerged as a significant force shaping how we communicate. As an expert on this subject, I aim to shed some light on this fascinating phenomenon and provide an insightful analysis of its influence on digital interactions.

  1. The Dynamic Nature of Online Language Evolution

Online language evolution refers to digital communications languages’ constant change and transformation. This evolution can be driven by technological advances, cultural shifts, and social media platforms’ influence. Understanding its impact requires acknowledging its dynamic and adaptable nature.

  1. Embracing Neologisms and Internet Slang

One of the most noticeable aspects of online language evolution is creating new words and phrases. Internet slang, commonly called “net lingo,” is a prime example. Words like “meme,” “emoji,” and “LOL” have become part of our everyday conversations. Being aware of these terms is crucial, as they are integral to understanding and participating in online discourse.

  1. The Influence of Social Media

Social media platforms have played a significant role in shaping the evolution of online language. Each platform has its unique features and language conventions. For instance,’s character limit has given rise to abbreviations and acronyms, while Instagram has popularized hashtags. Understanding these platform-specific linguistic norms is key to effective communication in the digital age.

  1. Globalization and Language Diversity

Internet communication has grown into an intricate web, filled with an assortment of dialects and languages from around the globe. Globalization has exposed businesses and individuals alike to different cultural influences when communicating via the web; understanding this dynamic landscape of language online is vitally important.

  1. Impacts on Business and Marketing

Online language evolution has a direct impact on business and marketing strategies. Effective communication with customers now requires understanding the language they use online. Brands must tailor their content and messaging so as to resonate with their target audiences or risk miscommunication and missed opportunities. Failing to do this may result in misinterpretations and missed opportunities.

Online language evolution is a natural consequence of our digital age. It’s a vibrant and dynamic aspect of our online interactions, offering challenges and opportunities.

Step-by-Step Procedure for Understanding Online Language Evolution

  1. Start by acknowledging the dynamic nature of online language evolution, which continuously adapts to technological advancements and cultural shifts.
  2. Acquaint yourself with internet slang, neologisms and terms frequently used in online communication.
  3. Understand the impact of social media platforms in creating language unique to each platform.
  4. Globalization has significantly broadened online communication channels.
  5. Understand the implications of online language evolution on business and marketing strategies, ensuring your messaging resonates with your target audience.

By following these steps, you can understand how online language evolution shapes our communication in the digital age and leverage this knowledge for effective communication and engagement.

This article was updated on December 4, 2023. 

Virginia Nussey is the director of content marketing at MobileMonkey. Prior to joining this startup in 2018, Virginia was the operations and content manager at Bruce Clay Inc., having joined the company in 2008 as a writer and blogger.

See Virginia's author page for links to connect on social media.

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