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Linguistic Features In Instant Messaging English Language Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Language
Wordcount: 1880 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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This study will enable us to determine if the language used in Instant Messaging will ultimately result in linguistic change. Instant messaging is a medium of communication that is used by hundreds of millions of people globally, but has received relatively little attention in regard of the degradation of linguistics. This medium of communication is excessively used worldwide and we also notice that different cultures have derived their own ways of tampering with the linguistics. Some say instant messaging is a completely new language with all the aspects and common traits of other languages. With the advancement of instant messaging the linguistics used in instant messaging has developed its own standards according to a research at Kent State University. While some consider instant messaging as an emerging trait of modern linguistics, others believe that instant messaging and the linguistics of instant messaging are deteriorating the basis of linguistics. They claim that the modern day ways of communication (instant messaging being the major contender in them) are corroding the essence of linguistics. They say that the younger generation these days is hardly familiar with the basics of language and grammar. Our study is going to cover questions regarding the prevalent belief that instant messaging leads to arise in disruption of linguistics. Several researchers have speculated that workers would use instant messaging in addition to the phone and e-mail, leading to increased interruption and reduced productivity. Weighing all the different aspects of linguistics of instant messaging, the origin and history of instant messaging, the evolution of instant messaging, the impact and the IM vernacular is the aim. The target is to explore the effects instant messaging has these days on linguistics, how people suffer from it and how people use it to make their lives easier and simpler.

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Statement of Problem

What are the different aspects of the linguistics of instant messaging and how does instant messaging effect linguistics? Questioning linguistics in instant messaging to its roots and delving into all the different scholarly and non-scholarly views of linguistics and its features in instant messaging is one of the main focuses of this research. Presenting a better and more profound picture of the linguistics used in instant messaging and its positive and negative effects on the development of language in the modern day culture is a long term goal. The study will include surveys which will reveal the view of the ordinary people who use instant messaging as their prime way of communicating with family, friends and even office colleagues. The study will also include critical analysis of scholarly opinions and studies that have showed up in the past on this subject of the usage of linguistics and its features in instant messaging.

Significance of study

This study will enable its readers to observe the speed of change in the past 20 years. It will unveil many different angles and dimensions to this particular subject – how language, vocabulary, grammar and punctuation have evolved within the different sociolinguistic features of instant messaging. This study will help understand what functions does instant messaging serve, and in what ways the extensive use of instant messaging is manipulating the features of linguistics. The most important aspect of this research is analyzing the social and educational problems that are hidden behind the fascination and attractiveness of this digital technology. Along with the listing of these problems we will also try to find solutions to them based on findings from our interviews, surveys and research.


The scope of the linguistic features of the instant messaging is very broad and profound. All that can restrict this research is the time available. During the time period that is available to us, we will try to focus on the key linguistic features of instant messaging.

Research questions

Primary questions

What are the features of linguistics in instant messaging and what effects do they have on modern day language?

What issues are being created in linguistics and on the other hand how instant messaging proves to become a very efficient and easy mode of communication?

Secondary questions

Evolution and forecasted trends in IM usage:

How has instant messaging services evolved in the recent years?

What new features have been added to instant messaging?

How has the popularity of instant messaging changed over time?

How competitive has the business of instant messaging become?

What features of linguistics have been affected by instant messaging since its development?

Over time, how different linguistics scholars have seen these changes, according to them are they good or bad?

How has the usage of instant messaging changed in the different age groups over time?

The IM vernacular: Myth or reality:

Is instant messaging slang invading the everyday English language?

How well do the “emotions” describe the participant’s actual feelings?

What are the day-to-day acronyms and text shorthand?

How much privacy are we promised in instant messaging?

Are slangs really used to encode or hide a conversation?

Why are jargons used?

The critics and impact of instant messaging:

How instant messaging affects interaction between genders?

Short and instantaneous response the only reason to use instant messaging?

How important is instant messaging in everyday life?

Instant messaging increases disruption at workplace?

Impact of instant messaging language on English grammar ?

History of instant messaging:

The advent of Instant Messaging

How there has been a change in language structures since advent of Instant Messaging?

How Instant Messaging has affected literacy since creation?

How the historical creation of special “IM language” has remained till now.

Issues with instant messaging:

Why detailed information cannot be delivered in a single text(SMS)?

Instant messages is a highway to misunderstanding, why is it so?

Are instant messages reliable?

What is more efficient in an emergency, Phone call or an instant message?

Literature review

As digitalization of communication increases new forms of linguistics are created to affiliate with the changing trends. Craig (2004) talks about Instant Messaging and how since its advent new forms of written linguistics have been created to make communication on these portals easier and faster. Since its advent in the 1990’s, Instant Messaging, firstly introduced by ICQ brought with it the creation of new slang. As people tried to type faster they created four types of slang languages; Phonetic replacements are words in which one or more phoneme units have been replaced by a series of letters that, phonetically, read the same way. Examples from this group include “ur,” phonetic for “your,” “you’re,” and “you are,” and “luv,” phonetic for “love.” Another popular type of slang word is the acronym. Acronyms on IM services, like anywhere else, are composed of the first letter of every important word within a phrase and the most alluring acronyms were “lol” and “omg,” constructions that mean, respectively, “laughing out loud” and “oh my god.” Abbreviations were also common IM language fare, ranging from vowel-drop shortenings, like the change of “people” to “ppl,” to more drastic reductions, such as “bc” for “because.” From these given slangs, the phonetic and abbreviation replacements were initiated during the 1990’s as soon as IM was started were the acronym replacement slangs found their way into IM conversations recently.

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In his research study, Ivanovic (2008) talked about how after the advent of IM new linguistics had to formed to give a more clear definition of one’s thoughts and views. Somewhere in between speech and e-mail communication, instant messaging since its creation required users to type their messages in real time, often under a self-imposed time restriction due to the knowledge that the other participant was waiting for a response. This led people to create new linguistics to define their state of mood or mind e.g. laughing became ha-ha which then progressed into the acronym LOL.

Crystal (2005) talked about the creation of Instant Messaging and the advent of internet linguistics. According to him as the internet became a prime channel of communication since the late 1990’s new linguistics were formed, more properly known as Internet Linguistics. From the creation of Instant Messaging, new connotations were created to help users communicate properly. As people could contact immediately with each other speed was required for which new ideologies had to be created. No language constraints meant people had the freedom to choose whatever written words they wanted to pass on their message and hence this caused the development of new words and linguistic features.



Simple random sampling is the key to collect data for this research. Other sampling techniques will result in biased results. The target is to arrange one interview from an affectee, while another from an authority (Manager of a telecommunication company, but it is changeable). Questionnaires, consisting of 12 to 15 questions, will be distributed to approximately 40 participants.

Research Tools




Videotaping an instant messaging conversation

Data Analysis Procedure

The data collected through the observations, interviews and survey will be further evaluated and analyzed. The statistical and mathematical softwares like Minitab and stat graphics will be used to encode data from the text to numeric data. This encoded data will assist in the analysis stage. Graphical representation of the data will widen the vision as well.

Time Frame

• By 17th November, the interviews will be conducted along with the filled questionnaires

• By 22nd November, the data will be further processed and analyzed.

• By 29th November, the first draft of the research paper will be ready for further editing.


Instant messaging since the start of 2000 has changed the communication frame in society. Today people specially youth is obsessed with the instant messaging. The reduction in the academic results of the students and productivity of the employees is evident. Instant messaging is helpful in quick communication, building a better communication environment and bridging the communication gap more effectively and efficiently . Today people prefer instant messaging over face to face communication as it saves time, and is cost effective.


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