THE INFLUENCE OF INSTANT MESSAGES ON ENGLISH WORD FORMATION AND CHANGES IN THE DYNAMICS OF THE COMMUNICATION PROCESS
The latest technological innovations have revolutionized traditional social interactions, facilitated information exchange between individuals and enabled friends, relatives, classmates etc. to connect virtually. Communication through instant-messages and the language teenagers use was a starting point of interest of this paper. Social media allows users to procure information from various sources, to share ideas, photos, videos and experiences, as well as to extend their connections. This new way of communication, empowers people to collaborate and share information, but on the other hand it weakens physical encounters and conversations in person. Social media has changed the whole process of communication, the availability of information needed, of lowering the time to transmit the message, and the practical aspect of this type of communication. The creativity of the users of the language, English in this case, their literacy, knowledge of grammar, word formation and phonetic rules, are put to the test when communicating through mediums like Facebook, Twitter, Messenger, Whatsapp, etc. The forms of the words which appeared as a result of this type of communication are not coined anew; rather they are formed from already existent forms or words. The following paper will shed a new light on the latest trends in word formation, resulting from the constant use of instant messages among teenagers and how social media is shaping the process of communication. The new tendencies in internet communication have brought a new use of the language and changes on lexicological, phonological and sociolinguistic level and it is very important to understand firstly how the internet and other communication technologies fit into teenagers’ external environments and complex lives. The social aspect of this paper implicates that these tendencies in word formation are not following the strict rules of the language system, i.e. they occur spontaneously in most of the cases. As more companies offer instant messaging on phones, and more pocket-sized devices with keyboards and internet access, teens start to take textual communication with them in their mobile lives. Teenagers use social networks to present themselves as they want to be seen and instant messaging is their primary tool for online communication. Teachers also express concern about the casual, almost disrespectful way that young people are encouraged to use language online as their informal speech starts to rely mostly on abbreviations and contractions and teens develop a ‘whatever attitude’ towards formal writing. This paper will eventually show the forms of words used in instant messages, the reasons why teenagers rely so much on this type of communication and it will open areas for further research of this topic among English language teachers.
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