Would Shakespeare approve of the world’s new digital communication?
I’m a wordie who, curiously, has never used the word before now. It’s a recent addition to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary along with sub-tweet, life-hack and casual approximations of speech such as hmm, ooh, and mm-hmm. All nods to our ever-evolving lexicon.
Deciphering Shakespeare’s early English vernacular in high school helped me see communication in a new way. He was a wordie as well, creating hundreds of words and often shortening others to suit his poetic writings. ‘Tis, oft and o’er are familiar shortened words while ope and gi may require a google check but the spelling is correct.
Some researchers suggest that he may not have created words but that he was the first to write them. Either way, we can thank the Bard for words such as bedazzled, amazement, fashionable, new-fangled, swaggering and so many more. Word play must have been as fun for him as it is for those of us who relish the satisfaction of finding the perfect words for our purposes. Today, grammar and spelling are forfeited in the name of speed and quantity of interactions.
In our fast-paced, information-saturated world, technology provides us with constant communication by merely tapping the ‘send’ or ‘receive’ button. It’s hard to imagine being without this increased connection to each other but I lament the shortcuts that flood our digitally written communication these days. Acronyms, lack of punctuation, the absence of capital letters, abbreviations, all aid us in speedy messaging, which really is the goal in our asap lives. It’s taken some time to get used to but I’ve finally accepted that resistance to the mega-change is futile.
The time has come for me to take the leap and join the masses who are texting, tweeting and using emojis. Tweeting with a maximum of 140 characters will take my need to be concise to a whole new level. And have you seen how fast and loose some people are with their emojis? Is that winky one making a joke or flirting? I worry about potential misunderstandings; without appropriate context, frowning emoji could be questioning or criticizing. But it’s certainly easier to select an emoji than to take time articulating emotions.
Monumental language changes will continue to occur, no doubt, but there’s room for everyone’s communication styles. It’s been said that digital communication can actually enhance our overall language. Certainly the new medium is being used in creative and imaginative ways.
I wonder if Shakespeare’s peers thought his wordsmithing heretical or visionary at the time. Can you imagine him embracing today’s changes and the new words he’d add to the mix?
For the stragglers among us, resources are available to educate us and translate digital slang. I’m excited to learn about hashtags.
I’ll always have to write Christmas in the whole and I don’t mind taking the extra millisecond to write okay instead of just k.
Does anyone knows if there is an app that translates the new digital language to my preferred style?
Latest posts by Bernice Connell (see all)
- Old School Writer Catching Up With Digital Communication - April 9, 2018
- Not-so-Happy Endings - February 19, 2018
- A New Year’s Resolution to Keep! - January 1, 2018