Online, Group Communities Generate New Words Essay

Online, Group Communities Generate New Words Essay

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Online, group communities generate new words
Introduction
The online environment provides greater opportunities for a broader range of storytelling and engagement with media and culture, and immediate conversations with readers (Von Veh, 2014). The Internet emphasises the role of language whilst masking identity forms such as class, gender or race (Warschauer, 2000). The popularity of social networking sites (SNSs) such as MySpace and Facebook demonstrate the addictive appeal of virtual and online communities across generations and cultures (TNS 2008).
Studies have emphasized sociolinguistic approaches of SNSs for human interaction through communication and social identity (Gumperz, & Cook-Gumperz, 1982). The style of language through use of jargon and slang highlights sense of understanding and the influence of social sites on language pragmatics illustrate a sense of identity. For example, Lee’s (2014) study on the language in American television sitcoms such as intensifiers highlights colloquial usage largely spoken by the younger generation. Similarly, Williams and Merten (2008) study explored online social networking sites such as blogs on social interaction through posting personal information, thoughts and beliefs.
Some studies have examined online fanfiction sites on language and identity (Black, 2006; Black, 2009). However, this study will address the gap in examining lexical innovations present in several genres of books. The website for this study was Wattpad which is a collection of books uploaded online of various genres ranging from paranormal, romance, historical fiction to fanfiction. This study will examine how words are combined to form new lexicons specific to the context of the storyline. It will also exami...


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...words and phrases, mainly present within the Wattpad group, showed mass interaction and understanding on topics of books and various genres.
It is evident that Wattpad is a social platform that connects people through words. Other studies exploring online fanfiction have demonstrated similar findings. For example, users of multiple social languages developed a textual identity of a global community (Lam, 2000).
Moreover, the limitation of this study was that the lexical innovations found were not neologisms and searching through several of profiles and stories would have been time-consuming and difficult to find. Nonetheless, Wattpad was a fitting site for this study as it has a profile creation and social network articulation across different users. Additionally, this study did not look at a subsection of this website to observe reciprocal social interaction.




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