My name is danah boyd and I'm a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research and the founder/president of Data & Society. Buzzwords in my world include: privacy, context, youth culture, social media, big data. I use this blog to express random thoughts about whatever I'm thinking.

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youth speak or Web2.0 company?

When did “q” gain the right to replace “k”? Or “ew” sounds be represented with 3+ “o”s? And since when is “z “such a popular letter in English? And why are we dropping “e”s? And how did words get dots in them?!?!

People often complain to me about the youth speak that i stare at on MySpace. Y’know the “suP WIt IT pLAY bOI.” But these are the same people who are rattling on about companies named things like Sxip and Flickr and Revver and Goowy and and Zooomr and Oyogi and Zvents. ::smacking forehead:: Just because you’re making weird words to get domain names doesn’t make your behavior any different than the teens making up words to be unparsable by adults.

If you want to have a laugh, check out Cerado’s Web2.0 or Star Wars Character?. I’m worried about the people who can win at this.

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9 comments to youth speak or Web2.0 company?

  • irina

    my score was 30 (horror!)…. i blame it on sxsw 😉

  • danah…glad you enjoyed it! ::hug:: -c

  • Dan Gould

    Creating new proper nouns for products and corporations is different. English has always had new names.

    That said, I got a 37 without having seen the three most recent Star Wars films.

  • IMO, web 2.0 is (significantly) the upright web. Wanting to seem loose and fun, it’s controlled and calculating–and it doesn’t like things (like Myspace) that are actually loose and fun.

  • ben

    Gah – 38. My excuse is a childhood devoted to Star Wars. I’ve not heard of half those Web 2.0 companies.

  • Heh, I got 36 the other day, didn’t know anything about almost any of the Web 2.0 stuff. Though I find it strange that at 30, many of my friends are asking for help understanding what their kids write on MySpace, Bebo, etc…

  • oso

    Many Spanish-speaking bloggers are asking when “k” gained the right to replace “q”.

  • renato targa

    In Brazil we’re experiencing the same effect among teenagers. Teachers are worried because they now are misspelling more frequently when trying to write formal Portuguese at school. IMO the Portuguese is prone to changing a little bit in the next generations (this is the way languages evolve, isn’t it?).

  • It’s not only english language problem. It’s becoming youth speak all over the world and these transformations are common for any language.