Will online slang like OMG, IMO, lol, and LMHO fizzle out like a fad or remain with us indefinitely.
According to Wictionary, “A fad is something that is very popular with a small group of people for a short period of time.”
Take a look at the last century of fads, and see if you can find a common bond.
Silent Films (1900s), Foxtrot (10s) Pez (20s), zoot suits (30s) slinkys (40s), hula-hoops (50s), troll dolls (60s) pet rocks (70s), Big hair (80s), tickle me elmo (90s), online slang (20s)
Among those who participate in fads, there is a camaraderie, a sort of club membership (remember Members Only jackets) in participating in the current popular phenomenon. Those left out are often labeled as uncool or nerdy. So do you have to conform with the mainstream to join a fad? Not necessarily. Many counterculture fads exist: from lip piercing to Mohawks.
Some fads are propelled by marketers like the Black Friday ads for Tickle Me Elmo, and some occur spontaneously like holding up cell phones at concerts. Either way a fad is fun and rewarding for those who join in.
What do you think about textspeech or online slang? Are you a member of this “club”? Will these acronyms spread to the unplugged? Do you use these abbreviations at all, just for texting, on all online communication, or all printed communication?
Do you ever use online slang in oral communication? If you feel like it, leave me a comment. I’d love to hear from you about this.