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    Technology's Impact on Written Expression

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    Social networks, email and cyberchat have added to the lexicon of English through "coining," blends, clips and replacement. Does this show the development of a pidgin or simply fashionable slang? Is written communication doomed to ever shorter shortcuts, at the expense of expression, or is the technology "additive" in nature, building a richer, multi-dimensional language of unversal technology?

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    Solution Preview

    This is an issue/problem/phenomenon that has always "put fire in my belly" and "gotten under my skin." (Consider those gems and their connotations to see our own body impacting the language.)

    Are we disassembling the beauty and rhythm of English, or just adding fashionable terms to the lexicon?
    From the linguistic standpoint, terms like "blog" and "tweet" are common and necessary entries in the Websterian tradition. They enter the language just as "OK" and "cool," that is, through institutional use. Use in common speech may spread a word verbally, but it doesn't pass through the hallowed gates until it's seen in PRINT. In other words, until this century, it "ain't" a word until it's inked. Makes you think twice about tattoos, doesn't it?

    And all that has changed. Webster's lags behind, probably reaping new entries from website surveys and server analysis. IM has become a new tongue, or even a "pidgin" of English.

    Here follows a nice quote for the definition of pidgin---

    "Often in history, however, traders and missionaries from one part ...

    Solution Summary

    The answer concerns itself with new expressions added to language via newer media. It considers the new terminology and shortcuts as new lexicon entries, as a pidgin of the original language and as fashionable slang. Two sources are cited from Linguistics textbooks.