HISiCtEL: Or, How Internet Slang Is Changing the English Language

Tbh, the way we use language is changing all the time, and imo… I mean, lbr, nothing is ushering in that change faster than the internet.

Fwiw, our love of acronyms does still have its uses on the net, with Twitter’s 140-character limit still hanging over our heads. Even with the rise of the ‘twitter rant’ – a 10- or even 40-tweet-long essay usually screenshotted and cross-posted to other social media accounts – brevity per individual tweet is key.

Unfortunately, if you’re the sort of person who doesn’t have their finger on the pulse – if you’re sat there groaning because you know you’re about to google ‘tbh’, ‘imo’, ‘lbr’ and ‘fwiw’ already and we’ve only just gotten started – these changes can often be more of a hindrance than a shortcut.

(By the way – that’s ‘to be honest’, ‘in my opinion’, ‘let’s be real’ and ‘for what it’s worth’.)

It’s not all doom and gloom, however, and here at UKTS we’ve developed an excellent coping mechanism – when you’re watching TV, keep your eyes on the characters’ phones and laptops. There’s a whole world out there of “LV U 4EVA”, “THTS GR8”, “B4 I C U 2NITE” still thriving in modern fiction that died out of our language completely the second the first smartphone was sold. Who has time to wrestle with their autocorrect over whether “GR8” is a real word, or to capitalise each letter individually? Numbers are usually an entire screen away!

The wonder of our evolving language isn’t just a matter of endlessly keeping up with what people are saying now. There’s also the joy of occasionally pausing to appreciate how many terrible, terrible words we’ve left behind.

C U L8R!