It’s not that new words will be invented at random to mean entirely new things, rather new words fewer letters will spring into use that describe more complex concepts.
Take the now infamous term ‘selfie,’ which came into existence in part thanks to Facebook and was officially admitted to the Oxford Dictionary in 2013.
Like selfie, other words will invariably rise to prominence because of sheer necessity – and the unrelenting need of social media users to express themselves with fewer and fewer characters.
One such idea came to me as I was trying to condense yet another run-on media headline to a more shareable size for use in Twitter. In the tweet were the words ‘smartphone user.’ My solution? “Smartphoner!” Why not? Smartphones are pretty much glued to users anyway, right? For the sake of brevity and need for speed, let’s just go with ‘smartphoner’ from now on. What do you say?
FYI, I Googled (another Internet-inspired term) smartphoner and it would seem to have been already used, although not necessarily as a way to combine smartphone + user into a catch-all term.
If you’re like me, the famous quote by Shakespeare “brevity is the soul of wit” is something you apply to every tweet and LinkedIn post. In order to accomplish that degree of linguistic parsimony, more nimble words with expansive meanings will have to enter our daily vocabulary.
Egads, methinks ole Will Shakespeare must have been the first social media practitioner way back in Elizabethan England!
About Dave Manzer: Dave Manzer founded an Austin PR agency for startups and emerging-growth businesses in 2009. Dave Manzer is one of the only agencies in the country specializing in technology, healthcare and energy PR to provide blended performance-based pricing. To contact Dave directly, please email him at dave(@)davemanzer.com.