Thursday, July 16, 2009

How will Twitter influence the evolution of the English language?

Gerund usage is most popular on twitter than elsewhere. The average sentence length afforded a twitterer tweeting in 140 characters is 1.40. And the second most popular word invited to the party is the almighty "I." I'm glad to see we are over our junior high gym class angst and choosing ourselves first for kickball. But I ask you,

my English language users, my post-post-modern language theorists, and my social theory fortune tellers what is your prediction on the influence of Twitter on the English language?


Facts Referenced were found by OED editors and reported at:


  1. *I* don't think Twitter will have any significant impact on the English language. I'm a Twitter addict, as you know, and I really don't think the habits I've established to squeeze my thoughts into bite sizes have influenced my speaking and writing styles. That's just a personal observation, but I have a hard time imaging people skipping modifiers and dropping vowels IRL.

    Do you know of any studies that measure the impact of other technologies (online communication platforms, telephones, telegraph, the postal service, etc) on language?

  2. I'll let you know if I come across any other studies.

  3. I see this is a very old ;-) discussion, but today - 2012 - I would still be very interested in reading any studies or research on the effect of social media on our creative writing.
    Have you found anything?
    Thank you, Sieneke de Rooij, writer & creative writing teacher, the Netherlands