Washington, May 2 : OMG! LOL. TTYL. Well, these are some 'words', which won't make any sense to adults over the age of 30, but the newer generation of technologically savvy young adults, is pretty much thorough with them.
According to Dr. Pamela Takayoshi, Kent State University associate professor of English, the grouping of letters, like OMG! (which stands for Oh! My God), LOL (which stands for Laugh Out Loud) and TTYL (which implies Talk To You Later), that are in totality called IM or Instant Messaging, is a separate language form from formal English and has a common set of language features and standards.
"Instant messaging, or IM, is not just bad grammar or a bunch of mistakes. IM is a separate language form from formal English and has a common set of language features and standards," said Takayoshi.
Takayoshi, Kent State associate professor of English Dr. Christina Haas andfour Kent State undergraduate researchers examined the language of instant messaging.
Using IM conversations produced by college students, the group analyzed and identified nonstandard features of the IM language, or the places where writers had used language features, which varied from Standard Written English.
They found that what looked like nonstandard features of written language were, actually, the standardized features within the IM language.
The language of instant messaging was found to be informal, explicit, playful, both abbreviated and elaborated, and to emphasize meaning over form and social relationships over content.
"When we look at the kinds of technology young people are using today, we see that many of those technologies - IM, blogs and Facebook - are writing technologies. Even the phone is used for writing now," said Haas.
Story first published: Friday, May 2, 2008, 16:09 [IST]