Content Marketing Blog

How social media has shaped the English language

The days of writing grammatically correct, perfectly punctuated sentences may seem like a thing of the past – but what role has social media played in this trend?

If new research from Brandwatch is anything to go by, it could be said that social networks have transformed modern day English, with Twitter presenting the greatest threat.

The site analysed the effect of various social media sites on the English language to find that Twitter users are the most likely to deviate from correct spelling and grammar.

A total of 0.56 per cent of words posted on the micro-blogging site are either misspelled or unofficial, although it has been suggested that this might be down to its strict 140-character limit.

Taking up second place is Google+ with 0.42 per cent of misspelled words, followed by Facebook with 0.31 per cent.

However, it's not all bad news for Twitter users, as the website found that people have become increasingly literate since 2011 – although how much of this is down to autocorrect features?

Women were found to be more likely to deviate from the official language than their male counterparts, as well as being more inclined to elongate their words for effect.

Men, perhaps unsurprisingly, showed a preference for shortening words, instead using phrases such as ‘kinda’ and ‘wanna’.

Now it's not uncommon for even the greatest of spelling aficionados to struggle with the odd word or two, but Brandwatch's analysis found that some words are more commonly misspelled than others.

The worst offenders were definitely, separate, embarrass and achieve, with weird and surprise also featuring on the list.

It just goes to show that even in a field as broad as social media, people are still on the lookout for good spelling and grammar – something that people running Twitter campaigns should bear in mind.

Posted by Emma Furze