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Importance of moving with the times

As much as the most traditional of linguists among us would like things to be different, language is constantly evolving and new vocabulary is being invented every day to work alongside new technology, in particular, the internet.

Gone are the days when correct grammar and vocabulary were of the upmost importance in spoken and written language, we’ve now entered a new age of acronyms, written grunts and hashtags! LOL, LMAO, OMG, ROFL, meh, argh, ahhh, hmm, #movingwiththetimes, none of these appear strange to us anymore. Some of these have become so well used that they have even entered the Oxford English dictionary!

In March 2011, LOL (laugh out loud), OMG (oh my god) and FYI (for your information) were all added to the Oxford English dictionary, revealing some interesting facts about these abbreviations. The dictionary defines these abbreviations as follows:

Definition of LOL

laughing out loud; laugh out loud (used chiefly in electronic communication to draw attention to a joke or amusing statement, or to express amusement):I love how you said ‘coffee is not my cup of tea’. LOL!

Definition of OMG

used to express surprise, excitement, disbelief, etc.:OMG! If my parents find out they will go mad!

early 20th century: from the initial letters of oh my God! (the final elements may sometimes represent goodness, gosh, etc.)

Definition of FYI

for your information.

New meanings have also been added to many existing nouns and verbs due to the popularity of new technologies, mainly social media. These include to follow and to like. When someone talks about following, we now think of watching someone’s activity on Twitter, and liking something now refers to clicking a button!

Even being in a relationship isn’t as simple as it used to be, as some consider it essential to be ‘Facebook official’, meaning that you have to update your relationship status on your Facebook profile! “Is it Facebook official?” is a question we hear a lot more that you would imagine!

There has also been an introduction of completely new words to our vocabulary, with verbs such as to google and to tweet becoming extremely common, and we won’t get started on smileys, as they have become a language in themselves!

Language will continue to evolve, and in centuries to come this social media vocabulary will be as dated as Shakespeare’s English! For this reason, at Lingua Translations we insist that all of our translators live in country so that they are constantly surrounded by their native language and can keep up to date with any linguistic developments. For information about some of the languages we work with, click here.

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About Sharon Stephens

Sharon Stephens is Operations Director of Lingua Translation. With a First Class Honours Degree in Translation and a University Lecturer in Translation (Masters), she is a self confessed language geek! Bringing the academic principles of translation and business together Sharon offers a quality-driven and needs centric translation and interpreting service - like no other.

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