Well, well, well. How did we get here?
Prepare to be shook my friends.
[Shook – like shaken, or shocked. In fact, shaken would be the grammatically correct term, but we time-poor millennials need to be conservative with our syllable usage. Example: After watching Taylor Swift’s new music video and actually enjoying it, Suzie was shook.]
No, this isn’t fake news.
[Fake News – most memorably coined by a certain orange-hued president, who apparently forgot the words ‘lies’, ‘slander’, ‘propaganda’ and ‘rumours’ also existed. Example: Trump wished Suzie would stopped spreading fake news about where he gets his tan.]
It’s 2017. Social-media is transforming the way we communicate, and not just because I don’t have to call your home phone and make awkward small talk with your mum in order to speak to you anymore, Suzie. (But after this, can you ask your mum to ask my mum to ask Stacey’s mum if we can hang out this weekend and then get back to me via paper fortune teller in class à la 1999? K thanks.)
It’s 2017 Suzie, even the emojis are adapting to become politically correct. Careers counsellors everywhere are despairing as every smartphone bearing student (aka, every millennial child) announces their ambition of becoming the next emoji translator.
The global merging of cultures and trends that social-media platforms facilitate contributes heavily to the increasingly rapid birth and circulation of new words and phrases. The internet air is polluted with them. So much ‘neologismic’ smoke, some might say it’s LIT (Sorry fam).
The Oxford English Dictionary has admitted thousands of new entries over the past few years alone, and social media has played a huge role in this development. Platforms such as Twitter – with its 140 (now 280) character limit, and Instagram, with its focus on images over text, have cultivated and shaped both the online and offline language we use today.
New words and phrases are spreading like wildfire. Language is moving so quickly, most of these words seem to have crept up on us while we were sleeping (aka definitely not woke), and then inserted themselves at every twist and turn in the modern digital world and IRL so we can’t escape. So, what have I missed?
I mean, when did killing it become the ultimate compliment? Can radio hosts please stop telling me I’m about to cop another hit tune? And while we’re on the subject of murder and other seemingly unpleasant things to be on the receiving end of – I’m dying! – 2017’s ROFLMAO. Why do we have be so extra? Ever heard of the boy who cried wolf, Suzie? That’s all I have to say about that.
And another thing: Can somebody please inform me as to when exactly I’ve got the receipts became an audacious phrase that alluded to anything more than the embarrassed utterance that preceded getting your money back for some ridiculous impulse purchase at Topshop? (I was not killing it in those hot pink faux fur sliders, Suzie! Although I did almost break my neck).
[What are thooose? LOL savage]
But don’t get me wrong little Suz, I love the constant transformation of our language. Yes, I have a soft spot for the reassuring order and rules of a more traditional English lexicon, but I can still appreciate the modern nuances of a certain millennial influence. I like the flexibility and adaptability, the constant invention of new words and phrases, even when there are already more than enough to adequately express what we are trying to say. Whoever would have thought our generation could have so much to offer the English dictionary?
As the years go on, and the lines between the Urban and the Oxford dictionaries become blurred, I find myself becoming more accepting, somewhat defeated, cringing slightly less at each new dictionary entry… (I said slightly).
As for how I feel about most of the neologisms in this post? There’s an emoji for that: