Twitter: The Evolution of Language

One of the hardest things you will ever do is sum up your activities in one-hundred forty characters or less. It may not be the hardest thing, but still is difficult.  If you tweet your daily activities on Twitter, you will have to decide what is truly important enough to tweet about.  This could be incredibly difficult considering most tweets are about the most uninteresting drivel.  Things like the shoes Suzie just bought or how your eyes twitch because of your hangover.  It is true that these things can be amusing and are sometimes poignant which will get more twitter followers.  However, they are mostly just two or three seconds of someone’s life wasted.

There are some things that are relevant and earth-shattering that it gets tweeted.  If you are the kind of person that posts these types of things, then you know how difficult it is to do when you are limited to these 140 characters.  You have to practically be a genius in order to simplify the important things to a few words.  Twitter’s character limits are a true test of a person’s skill of destroying language as it was intended.

One ramification of Twitter and other social media is the loss of the proper word structure.  More often than not instead of words more twitter followers will actually be reading a string of consonants with a vowel sprinkled in.  Normally words are put together in this fashion.  The only difference is when you are making a Tweet is your letters become the whole representation of some words.  You need a Captain Midnight decoder badge to figure out what has just been sent to the world via Twitter.  If you do manage to decipher the incoming message, you then have to respond in the same code or your followers will decide that you have slipped a cog and are in need of a mental health professional.

The sad thing is that after you have spent the time to try to understand the last tweet you received, they may be right.  No one should really be surprised that the use of language has evolved into something like this.  As much as we would all like to blame social media for the current state of language, we should bear in mind that it actually started in the scientific community centuries ago.  In order to save space and simplify equations, alchemists, physicists, and inventors abbreviated many of their words in this fashion.  One of the most notorious examples of this is taught to children in grade school. E=mc2.  That’s right we can all blame Einstein.  Continuing on this track is just a matter of time before this very article will be translated to be an entire contract for a cell phone provider.

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