Sunday, October 05, 2008

New Verbs in an Internet Generation

"The Internet is not just one thing, it's a collection of things - of numerous communications networks that all speak the same digital language." ~Jim Clark

All right, so "Google" was transformed into a verb a while ago. If you need information online, you don't search for it, you google it. No-brainer. But the other day, one of my students said, "A friend facebooked me last night and asked..."

And I thought, wait a minute. Really? Facebook is now a verb too? Well, I googled the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, and sure enough, it is. Among other things, to facebook means to use the site, to send messages to friends via the site, even to upload pictures to the site.

Who knew?

So I got to thinking, what about other new verbs that the Internet has introduced to our language? Well, there's blogging, of course, and IM'ing. Apparently there's also flickring which means using the website to upload or view pictures. I find it rather interesting the way this shift in our communication methods has also translated to our language. Too, it represents yet another kind of generation gap. Tell someone over the age of 60 that you facebooked a friend last night after flickring and they might look at you like you're speaking a different language.

I suppose it's a normal evolution of a society. Are there other new Internet verbs you can think of? And what do you think about this new language, anyway?

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