Marta Dąbrowska


Since electronic communication became widespread, one of the typical features identified in e-language and commented on, also as an aspect of linguistic analyses, has been acronyms and abbreviated language of various kinds. It has been particularly visible in English, as this language, unlike many others, shows great flexibility with regard to such modifications, mainly due to homophony between numerous words and individual sounds as well as lack of inflectional endings, which otherwise would limit the abbreviation options. However, the current overview of a selection of social networking sites does not appear to demonstrate any striking presence of this marker of computer-mediated communication (CMC). The present analysis therefore attempts to investigate the contemporary status of online language abbreviations in English, with the aim of discovering the actual visibility and frequency of use of such items as well as identifying their most popular forms found online. In particular, the research focuses on three social networking sites, i.e. Facebook (private accounts and fanpages), YouTube, and Twitter, trying to establish which factors contribute to the preference for abbreviations: the limitation of the post length, the degree of informality and closeness to the post addressees or the anonymity of the post author. Additionally, the investigation also takes into account the nationality of the users, and notably the status of English as their first or second language, as well as their gender, on the assumption that these variables play a significant role in the selection of this aspect of online discourse.

Słowa kluczowe: English, abbreviations, CMC, Social Networking Sites, gender

Agha A. 2005. Voice, footing, enregisterment. – Journal of Linguistic Anthropology 15: 38–59.

Anis J. 2007. Neography. Unconventional spelling in French SMS text messages. – Danet B., Herring S.C. (eds.). The multilingual Internet. Language, culture and communication online. Oxford: 87–115.

Baron N. 2008. Always on. Language in an online and mobile world. Oxford.

Bieswanger M. 2007. 2 abbrevi8 or not 2 abbrevi8: A contrastive analysis of different space- and time-saving strategies in English and German text messages. – Texas Linguistic Forum 50. [Retrieved from].

Bieswanger M. 2010. Gendered language use in computer-mediated communication. Ty­pography in text messaging. – Bieswanger M., Motschenbacher H., Mühleisen S. (eds.). Language in its socio-cultural context. New explorations in gendered, global and media uses. Frankfurt am Main: 157–172.

Blommaert J. 2010. The sociolinguistics of globalization. Cambridge.

boyd d. 2008. Why youth <3 social network sites: The role of networked publics in teenaged social life. – Buckingham D. (ed.). Youth, identity and digital media. Cambridge: 119–142.

Chambers J.K. 2003. Sociolinguistic theory. [2nd edition]. Oxford.

Coates J. 1993. Women, men and language. [2nd edition]. London, New York.

Coetzee F. 2012. The multilingual literacy practices of residents living a coloured, Afrikaans-dominant neighbourhoods in Cape Town: A sociolinguistic study. [Unpublished MA thesis, University of Cape Town].

Crystal D. 2001. Language and the Internet. Cambridge

Crystal D. 2006. Language and the Internet. [2nd edition]. Cambridge.

Crystal D. 2008. Txtng. The gr8 db8. Oxford.

Crystal D. 2011. Internet linguistics: A student guide. London, New York.

Crystal D. 2013. Spell it out. The singular story of English spelling. London.

Dąbrowska M. 2011. Language economy in short text messages. – Studia Linguistica Uni­versitatis Iagellonicae Cracoviensis 128: 7–21.

Dąbrowska M. 2012. ’Happy b’day bhaiya.’ Characteristics of Facebook Indian English. – Studia Linguistica Universitatis Iagellonicae Cracoviensis 129: 61–89.

Dąbrowska M. 2013. Variation in language. Faces of Facebook English. Frankfurt am Main.

Danesi M. 2016. Language, society and new media. Sociolinguistics today. New York, London.

Deumert A. 2014. Sociolinguistics and mobile communication. Edinburgh.

Deumert A., Lexander K.V. 2013. Texting Africa: Writing as performance. – Journal of Sociolinguistics 17: 522–546.

Freeborn D. 1998. From Old English to Standard English. A course book in language variation across time. [2nd edition]. Houndmills, Basingstoke.

Graddol D. 2006. English next. Why global English may mean the end of “English as a Foreign Language.” London.

Herring S., Zelenkauskaite A. 2008. Gendered typography: Abbreviation and insertion in Italian iTV SMS. – Siegel J.F., Nagle T.C., Lorente-Lapole A., Auger J. (eds.). Gender in language: Classic questions, new contexts. Bloomington (IN): 73–92.

Hinnenkamp V. 2008. Deutsch, Doyc or Doitsch? Chatters as languagers – The case of a German-Turkish chat room. – International Journal of Multilingualism 5: 253–275.

Ling R. 2005. The socio-linguistics of SMS: An analysis of SMS use by a random sample of Norwegians. – Ling R., Pedersen P.E. (eds.). Mobile communications: Renegotiation of the social sphere. London: 335–349.

McIntosh J. 2010. Mobile phones and Mipoho’s prophecy: The powers and dangers of flying language. – American Ethnologist 37: 337–353.

Milroy L. 1980. Language and social networks. London, Baltimore.

Palfreyman D., Al Khalil M. 2007. ‘A funky language for teenz to use’: Representing a Gulf Arabic in instant messaging. – Danet B., Herring S.C. (eds.). The multilingual Internet. Language, culture and communication online. Oxford: 43–63.

Pennycook A. 2007. Global Englishes and transcultural flows. London.

Pingali S. 2009. Indian English. Edinburgh.

Saenger P. 2010. The impact of the early printed page on the history of reading. – Gadd I. (ed.). The history of the book in the West. [vol. 2: 1455–1700]. Surrey (UK): 385–449.

Spencer-Oatey H. 2007. Theories of identity and the analysis of face. – Journal of Pragmat­ics 39: 639–656.

Squires L. 2010. Enregistering Internet language. – Language in Society 172: 51–77.

Stevenson J. 2000. The language of Internet Relay Chat. [Retrieved from].

Su H-Y. 2007. The multilingual and multiorthographic Taiwan-based Internet: Creative uses of writing systems on college-affiliated BBSs. – Danet B., Herring S.C. (eds.). The multilingual Internet. Language, culture and communication online. Oxford: 64–86.

Tagg C. 2009. A corpus linguistic study of SMS text messaging. [Unpublished PhD thesis, University of Birmingham].

Tagliamonte S.A., Denis D. 2008. Linguistic ruin? Lol! Instant messaging and teen language. – American Speech 83: 3–34.

Thurlow C., Lengel L., Tomic A. 2004. Computer mediated communication. Social interac­tion and the Internet. London.

Trudgill P. 1972. Sex, covert prestige, and linguistic change in the urban British English of Norwich. – Language in Society 1: 179–196.

Czasopismo ukazuje się w sposób ciągły on-line.
Pierwotną i jedyną formą czasopisma jest wersja elektroniczna.