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Official English Grammar in Social Media Essay

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Updated: Jan 24th, 2022

Introduction

Social media refer to electronic platforms that people use for online interaction. The latest social media sites include face book and twitter. Noteworthy is the fact that the sites have attracted many people especially youths. They enable people communicate, share information, update statuses and market their products and services to a large population with ease. Although social media is effective in communication; it is has led to the alteration of the grammatical structures of official languages in many nations. Many social media users admit to ignoring the grammatical provisions of language.

They violate them and use a completely different morphology from the official language. Therefore, bad language use in social media raises questions about the future of grammatical structures of the official languages among school children. It is unfortunate that they are also attracted to social media. Notably, many of them learn wrong grammatical structures at a tender age due to social media influence and availability of electronic gadgets such as internet enabled cell phones and personal computers. Hence, they transfer the wrong lexicon to the academics. Social media reduces the educational achievement of many young students especially in languages.

Impact of Social Media to Grammar

Social media has caused a major lapse in the grammar of many official languages in many countries. For instance, it has altered the morphological structures of some languages; thus, transferring the same to school age children. The worst affected age group is the youth because it forms the largest number of social media users. From a linguistic point of view, the language used in social media may not be universally understood. Therefore, it is not applicable in formal functions such as government business, academic instruction, medical practice, international commerce and law among other official operations. Social media language is in many instances devoid of the grammatical structures that make up a language. Essentially, many users use corrupted language whose lexicon is strange. Therefore, it becomes difficult for the linguists to create an international phonological chart to guide the use of such a language.

Slang is a popular language in social media. Users prefer it over an official language if they plan to restrict a communicative situation to people of a certain group. It is important to note that slang and its constituents do not have a structured morphology Hence, there are no grammatical rules to guide its use. It is sad that it has grown significantly when compared to other languages. Youths have particularly strengthened its growth especially in major urban centers in the world. In learning institutions, language instructors often complain over the influence of social media to the learners. It is unfortunate that some students have mastered much of the grammatically void social media language and transfer it in class. Language tutors often complain that students do not write notes properly as was the case in the recent decades. Many of them scribble the notes in short form. According Battistella (2005), oversimplification is not appropriate and is not recommended when one is making a transition to a higher level of education/professional grounds (p. 45). Therefore, it is challenging for them to read such notes later leave alone understanding. Some may answer questions with the influence of the social lingo. Their answers have many spelling mistakes, improper punctuation, incoherent phrases and poor grammar in general.

It is difficult to create grammatical rules for slang language because it is an evolving and a highly corrupted language that do not conform to the language regulations. There are new utterances every day while old ones get discarded. In addition, it differs depending on the city, activity, the region’s social and political environment among other factors. Although people may understand what one means in slang, it remains grammatically incorrect because its pragmatics is unclear (Locastro, 2003). The modern social media language has a comprehensive lingo in some cases, but its grammatical structures cannot be justified. Moreover, many words in social media language are not available in the dictionaries and there are no pronunciation rules.

Social media users, usually, keep their conversations very short. Chopra (2013) adds “social media sites like twitter that impose a character limit, force users to condense their thoughts” (n. p). Therefore, they may skip important components of language such as capitalization, commas and periods among others. Regrettably, the trend has chipped in the classrooms. Instructors have a challenging task of marking descriptive essays because some students use short forms and do not give a detailed analysis of the assignment. Social media raises serious pedagogical issues especially in elementary levels (Chan, 2011). Learning language is becoming a difficult task due to the influence of social media language. Some educationists suggest that students go through a language assessment test before joining an institution of higher learning to promote proper language use. According to them, the test will help them realize the difference between the context of academic and casual language. The influence of social media has led to the entry of some words such as ‘sext’, ‘tweet’ and ‘lol’ among others into the English dictionary. It is true that language is dynamic, but the influence of social media to official language is not fully justifiable. Colloquial language is to blame for the deteriorating cases of official languages in many countries.

Social media language has a weird lexicon and its phonetic patterns are not available in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). The users do not pay attention to the punctuation rules. In fact, punctuation in social media is a thing of the past. Similarly, users especially multilingual speakers may even mix up different languages in a manner that cannot generate a language with justifiable morphemic patterns (DePew, 2011). Users admit that they do not proofread their texts and do not bother about the interchanges in phones. Therefore, the trend threatens the existence of proper grammar in future. It is to blame for the development of low-quality grammar among school children. Children are active learners; thus, they tend to imitate much of what is in their environment without much ado. Hence, they are likely to acquire social media language at the expense of good language.

Conclusion

Social media is an important communication tool in the twenty-first century. However, it does not equip the learner with conventional information regarding the use of language for professional/academic purpose. Therefore, school age children find it difficult to structure cohesive sentences, phrases and paragraphs for official use. People have become dependent on social media; thus, they have little time to learn official language. Social media has placed a heavy burden to language instructors who have to teach students with serious language deficits. In addition, poor grammar has gone viral due to the popularity of social media language; which allow users to construct languages as they wish.

References

Battistella, E. L. (2005). Bad Language: Are Some Words Better Than Others? Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Chan, W. M. (2011). Media in Foreign Language Teaching and Learning. Boston: De Gruyter Mouton.

Chopra, K. (2013). Social Media Today. Web.

Depew, K. E. (2011). Social Media at Academia’s Periphery: Studying Multilingual Developmental Writers’ Facebook Composing Strategies. Reading Matrix: An International Online Journal, 11(1). 54-72.

Locastro, V. (2003). An Introduction to Pragmatics: Social Action for Language Teachers. Ann Arbor, Mi: University Of Michigan Press

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IvyPanda. 2022. "Official English Grammar in Social Media." January 24, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/official-english-grammar-in-social-media/.

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IvyPanda. (2022) 'Official English Grammar in Social Media'. 24 January.

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