Features of the use of the changes in the English language under the influence of the Internet - Студенческий научный форум

XI Международная студенческая научная конференция Студенческий научный форум - 2019

Features of the use of the changes in the English language under the influence of the Internet

Мустафа М.А. 1, Жасарова Д.Г. 1
1Евразийский Национальный университет имени Л.Н.Гумилёва
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The global Internet does not serve only effective communication tool in general, but also a means of establishing primary contact between its users, including geographically remote from each other. Significance of the internet rises in all areas of human life, including not only science and education, but also the economy, entertainment and hobby. "The main invention last years is communication through computer technology which can be described as communication between people thanks to the diverse digital technologies ”[5, with. one]. The Internet attracts all new users requires not only skills in work online but also proficiency in the language in which represented most of the resources. A huge number of users see The Internet is not only a means of communication, but also as an opportunity to express your thoughts, describe what happened to them, to share experience.


For hundreds of years, technology has been driving the evolution of the English language. In the fifteenth century, the invention of the printing press established standard methods of spelling English words. New forms of punctuation were invented to make printed texts easier to read, and for the first time people from different regions began to agree about English grammar. The invention of the telegraph, and later of the radio and the television, had an term paper writing effect on the English language. New words were invented to describe these new technologies, and new styles of speech were invented by broadcasters. However, it is the Internet that has had the largest effect on the English language, changing it completely in less than two decades.

The hallmark of Internet communication is efficiency. People who began using e-mail, and later instant messaging, found it efficient to invent a whole new world of acronyms, and these spread like wildfire across the Internet. Acronyms such as ‘brb’ and ‘lol’ have made their way into the ordinary speech of young people, and even into the pages of some respectable dictionaries. Meanwhile, it became so easy to communicate over the Internet that people stopped writing things out with a pen and paper. Letters have become obsolete, and everything from school projects to professional reports are created on computers, with the aid of online dictionaries and spellcheckers. Some studies have suggested that young people no longer know how to spell, because they use programs that auto-correct their work. In this way, the Internet has had as large an effect on spelling conventions as the printing press did, almost six hundred years ago.

More than any other technology, the Internet has encouraged the invention of new words. Sometimes these words are created by expanding the definition of existing words. ‘Traffic’ used to refer to foot traffic, and then to horse and carriages, and then to automobiles. Now it refers to people visiting a website. Words like ‘cyberspace’ and ‘virtual’ were originally invented by science fiction authors, but they were adopted by early Internet users, and entered the wider vocabulary of the public. A ‘virus’ used to be something that made you sick, but today it’s a destructive program that spreads itself across the Internet. The word ‘wireless’ was originally used for radio communication, but today it refers to wireless Internet. If you use a social networking site such as Facebook, you will be familiar with ‘tagging’ people, or ‘posting’ something to your ‘wall.’ These words all had similar definitions in the past, but they have been given a new twist and are used to refer to virtual activities.

Sometimes words are given entirely new definitions. A ‘troll’ used to be a malicious creature from Norse legend, but now it refers to someone who enjoys harassing other people over the Internet. ‘Spam’ used to be a kind of canned meat, but now it refers to a self-replicating message, often containing advertising, or promoting a scam. A ‘stream’ used to refer to running water, but now it’s a constantly updating stream of information. Sometimes the Internet creates new verbs out of nouns. ‘Troll’ and ‘stream’ can both be used as verbs, and ‘google’ is an entirely new verb that has even been included in some dictionaries.

Words that were adopted and modified by Internet users come full circle when they make their way back into everyday speech. The word ‘troll’ is a prefect example. It used to refer to a strange, inhuman creature living in the woods of Northern Europe, and then it came to refer to someone behaving badly on the Internet. Now someone can be called a troll when they behave obnoxiously in real life. The word ‘lurking’ is another example. It was adopted by Internet users to refer to someone who views an online conversation without contributing. Now people use it in real life to refer to someone who is part of a group but doesn’t join in the conversation.

The Internet has only existed for a short time, but it’s already had a huge effect on the way people communicate. It’s too soon to judge how permanent the effect of the Internet will be on society and the English assignment helplanguage, but it’s likely that the changes people have made to the way they speak will last for hundreds of years. It’s also possible that a new technology will come along and replace the Internet, and acronyms such as ‘lol’ will seem like archaisms to our grandchildren.

Looking at early internet vocabulary provides a fascinating insight into how quickly new words can be picked up and then abandoned. Many of these terms that sprung up and then disappeared less than ten years later have simply become outdated.

Where old internet slang has fallen out of favour, new slang has appeared. If you’re reading this in 2016, you probably know most of the terms on this list: YOLO (the internet abbreviation is not completely dead!), rickrolling, basic, throwing shade, I can’t even, bae, fleek, hashtag, salty, catfish, selfie. But if it’s 2030 and this article is still online, you might want to google the concept of “rickrolling” and feel amazed at the kind of things your parents found amusing.

We’ve written before about how much the English language is changing, and one of the key drivers of that change is the number of people who speak English as a second, third or even fourth language. English has about 400 million native speakers, but vastly more non-native speakers – perhaps as many as two billion, depending on how loosely you want to define being an English speaker. It’s a harder question than you might realise: how fluent does someone have to be to count as an English speaker? Do they need to be able to string together a few sentences, or hold a decent conversation? Do dialects and creoles count? What if they are speaking something that is essentially English, but that very few native English speakers can understand? These questions ultimately extend beyond language, and start to raise political questions as well; the use of language by one speaker might be considered as an error, while another speaker might be considered to be using a dialect.

The founders of the Internet introduced and installed on the network a certain communication etiquette (netiquette), objectivity (as an example - a variety of well-defined topics for conversation in various forums), as well as a style that is informal and tolerant to mistakes, abbreviations, slang and "smiles".

Some scholars argue that such a manner of writing deserves more attention than if it were only linguistic "vandalism". Illiterate phrases and abbreviations often go beyond cyberspace, and even people who are far from modern technology are beginning to use abbreviated expressions, such AWHF, instead of the commonly used question in the speech "arewehavingfun?" (English - have fun?).

Well-known British linguist David Crystal rejects generally accepted views on online communication as an illiterate and degenerative phenomenon. He agrees that most people communicate in a non-standard, playful manner, deviating from established language rules, and are tolerant, if not positive, to grammatical and spelling errors. But at the same time, the scientist admires the obvious diversity of language forms, perceiving what is happening on the Internet from a very positive point of view. According to Crystal, the “Netspeak phenomenon” is capable of fundamentally changing our view of language, being a qualitatively new stage in its development. ”

The Internet is becoming especially popular among young people who “grew up on computers” and, accordingly, become an integral part of their life. Thanks to the network, they were able to avoid communication problems caused by a bias towards differences in age, gender, race, skin color, clothing, etc. “Anonymized” communication in the network allows them to judge each other only by the messages themselves. Of course, like any other structure, Internet communication is not without flaws, for example, the inability to assess the sincerity of your opponent from the other side of the monitor. However, this type of communication attracts young people with a wide range of previously inaccessible interactive features.

One of the most notable is the ability to graphically depict emotions ("smiley" or "emoticons") and mimic sounds by changing the spelling characteristics of the word. This undoubtedly gives rise to a tremendous potential for the development of Netspeak.

It can be seen from the bar chart that people have merely positive attitude according to the changes of the English language due to the Internet. In the experiment participated mostly students from 15 to 20. “Ways the Internet has changed the English language” was asked and three main answers were offered during the empirical task. To demonstrate answers:

We have added thousands of words of new vocabulary

We are creating brand – new dialects for online communities.

We are learning new grammar rather than losing our ability to speak English.

The thing that need to be highlighted that 14,3% of participants stand for “We are creating brand – new dialects for online communities” which is the lowest ratio among other variants. The highest point revealed on an answer which depicts “We have added thousands of words of new vocabulary” with the data 57,1%.

Consequently, the change in English languages under the influence of the Internet reflects on its usage positively.


To conclude, it should be said that at this stage of development of modern technologies nothing can stop the development and spread of cyberspace, which in itself is the greatest result of technological progress.

Netspeak can be considered a product of the Internet network, namely the creation of the Internet community, and therefore educational and psychological tools can be used to preserve the language and prevent its degradation. Teachers, psychologists and other specialists should act in the best possible way and prevent the young generation from forgetting the traditional norms of behaviour and speech, only in this case there will be a solid basis on which society will develop English on the Internet without the risk of its depletion and extinction.

From a linguistic point of view, “Netspeak” is close to slang: everyone should know in which case it is worth it and should not be used, which from a psychological point of view depends on upbringing.

English is akin to a being, and therefore its environment, including cyberspace, influences its direction of development.


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Halliday M.A.K. Language as a Social Semiotic. London, Arnold. - 1978. – 256 p.

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