Using Social Media to Preserve the English Language

Last Updated on: February 21st, 2016

This is a guest post from Aleshia Clarke.

Using Social Media to Preserve the English Language

Do you think the English language will eventually fade away? Languages today are evolving at a rapid pace, as evidenced by significant changes in usage within the last decade. In fact, entire cultures are merging as the world grows smaller, due in part to the widespread availability of social technologies. Writing is a skilled, vocational trade that specializes in the scholarly domain of words to create entertaining, educational stories for an audience. Grammar, spelling, and structure are the tools by which we impart information to our readers with clear, concise text. Writers have traditionally assumed a creative developmental role in the literary arts, but now we have joined the ranks of educators, businesses and marketing professionals, by using the internet social media platform to promote our craft.

The opportunity exists for us to engage social media in a manner that enhances the integrity of the writing profession. These networks provide us with a quick, inexpensive method of connecting our work to a large audience. Social network structures take form with the aid of resources obtained through social marketing strategies. Marketing experts offer financial services to corporate clients by implementing viral techniques. They also design targeted advertising campaigns, which pinpoint demographic clusters of potential customers, and direct these people into the networks. Their strategy involves the collection of data related to search engine trends, and the selection of high-density search terms, topics, or phrases. Marketers enlist website creators to post keyword-rich content for a fee, or to share profits by embedding advertising links for products or services on site pages.

I am concerned about the low quality of typical web content on many of those websites, as well as the marketing-related conversations that are taking place on social media networking sites. Our population is already rejecting correct language usage in lieu of fragmented banter, jargon, and slang. I feel a sense of urgency to protect and preserve our language. The responsibility continues to be ours, and I propose that we employ our own specialized, scholastic type of marketing strategy. If each of us adheres to ethical standards that strengthen and develop our craft, we will maintain scholarly integrity. We each agree to write primarily for the benefit of our readers, in effect teaching them the correct usage of language. I suggest that we evaluate each word used in our work to determine if it is worthy of being included in the written communication of our culture, asking ourselves if we have neglected any words that could enrich the English language. By striving to present only the highest quality of writing submissions on websites, we are securing our language for future generations.

Wouldn’t you agree?


Aleshia Clarke is a Creative Nonfiction Writer, and a lifelong student of the Social Sciences. She resides in an RV motor home with her husband, their daughter, and the family pets.  Learn more about Aleshia by visiting her blog or by visiting her Facebook page

What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comment section!

28 thoughts on “Using Social Media to Preserve the English Language

  1. Lorraine – Yes that comment was for “Bee.” I hope “you” are having better weather up there than we are down in NY! We are so tired of all this rain! Do enjoy your weekend either way. 🙂

    • Lorraine Marie Reguly says

      I think this comment was made in response to Barb, aka Bee. 🙂 I sure hope so! 🙂

  2. Bee says

    I prefer and use proper English the same as you. I am still getting the hang of the shorthand version of text and other social networks. My kids laugh at me but hey I’m getting there. English should be saved. Thank you for visiting my blog today and commenting

  3. Peter Dean says

    I have always been very ‘wordy’. Though I hated it at the time, I know that my parents had a big part in this by encouraging us to read and to always speak properly and form ‘real’ sentences etc. The worry for me in social media and even in the hallowed halls of the likes of Linkedin is the often very sloppy speah of those trying to promote themselves – a recent answer post to one question was ‘coz this and coz that’ it made me shudder to read it! The other worry for me is people not even writing their own material in many cases – do not mistake me here, I also share articles of interest, but am always on hand to discuss them further – some just churn out link after link, what does that tell us about their business? Nothing! I could go on, but suffice to say I believe that English is a dying language being replaced by technology talk or text talk, neither of which I find acceptable.

    • Lorraine Marie Reguly says

      Peter, I have corrected your typos/spelling errors, but am not sure what “speah” is supposed to mean… Speech, perhaps?

      Many people talk on computers using slang and abbreviations, reserving fully formed words for professional correspondence.
      A point to note, to not only you, but to everyone, that has not yet been raised, is that texting costs money and using abbreviations like CUL8R for See You Later, 2 for Too/To/Two, U for You, UR for Your, 4 for For, PLS for Please, and Thx for Thanks are likely used to save time as well as money. I know that I am charged for each “page” of my texts, when I text on my cell phone. If I am charged, then others are, too! IMHO (In My Humble Opinion), maybe the cost factor needs to be addressed.

      I don’t think that Aleshia considered this factor when writing this post!

      Thanks for your comment, Peter Dean!

    • Hello Peter,

      I cringe when I see professionals using that kind of shorthand, particularly in a professional setting. Lorraine does bring up a very good point about the cost of texting, and I would like to add that time constraints have occasionally been a factor for me. I will abbreviate when replying to my husband or daughter if I’m in a rush, but I would never do it with a business colleague.

      • Lorraine Marie Reguly says

        I am like-minded. I will use proper English in most cases, and save the shorthand for people I chat with on Facebook or text. I would NEVER use BTW (by the way) in a professional letter (or any shorthand, for that matter)! As long as people understand the difference, the future of language remains promising. 🙂

  4. says

    I am reading a book where French was *the* language in Europe in the early 19th century. Who knows what the future holds. But I’m guessing literacy is way up now from where it was at that time. So even if some are spelling poorly, others are writing wonderfully. I see the cup as three-quarters full (at least) when it comes to the future of the English language.

    • Lorraine Marie Reguly says

      I am glad you have a positive outlook, Leora! I do, too!
      Thanks for stopping in and contributing to the comments.
      I think if we each do our part, the future of the English language will thrive. 🙂

    • You make a good point Leora. Literacy has improved a great deal since the 19th century, and it continues to be valued by many people. I also have hope for the recent high school grads. It seems that they are reviving the values of culture and tradition. Let’s hope they bring solutions to problems facing all cultures of the future!

  5. Glynis – I think social media does help in some ways, if you know how to “sort” through the content – creating lists, muting people, etc. The newest generation seems to have an interest in meaningful conversation, so let’s hope that they do transform it into a more civilized public forum.

    • Lorraine Marie Reguly says

      I just wanted to add that I read an article recently that indicated that more than 75% of teenagers nowadays enjoy reading books. Social media may be fun for some, and a good marketing tool, but it cannot replace the experiences we have elsewhere in our lives. It was refreshing to hear this, too! I know many people would rather “watch the movie” than “read the book”, but it seems like many more would rather read. I am not sure where I read this, but I know I left a comment for the blogger who wrote it… 🙂

  6. Glynis Jolly says

    Aleshia, I do, most definitely, agree with you. I do wonder if social media is going to be a help or a hindrance though. I see an awful lot of ‘text jargon’ on these sites.

    • Lorraine Marie Reguly says

      Glynis, I think that was one of the points Aleshia was trying to make. There is so much misuse of language that it is up to each individual to help preserve it!

      It’s nice to see you here, by the way!

  7. Christy Birmingham says

    How true that the words we publish are forming the base of how readers connect with language (both written and spoken). Engaging post!

  8. says

    I agree with you. All of the letter abbreviations makes the reader guess the words the author is trying to write. I enjoy reading the full word, even on Facebook, Twitter, etc. I think proper English will come back into vogue, but right now, the country is going very liberal, so anything goes at the moment.

    • Lorraine Marie Reguly says

      What frustrates me are the short forms, or abbreviations, that I don’t understand. I have recently learned that SMH means “shaking my head”. I have also learned that “IJS” means “I’m just sayin’.”

      So, I guess the appropriate response to all of this is “IJS, I am SMH at all of this.”

      Are you SYH, too? (I think you can figure this one out…)

    • I must admit that it still surprises me to see adults posting comments such as, “Ur very welcome”. Teachers must get terrible headaches from reading essays by students who write this way simply out of habit. Hopefully, we can help raise the bar by setting a better example for those within our own social circles.

      • Lorraine Marie Reguly says

        With the rising usage of “short forms” or “abbreviations”, I have to concur. Indeed, we should always try to maintain a high standard when it comes to writing or communicating using written language.

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