Tuesday, February 4, 2014

When the language changes

I saw this image on Pinterest the other day and clicked on it thinking I would see an article about behaviors on social media sites. Admittedly I only glanced at the image quickly or the next part would not have shocked me so much.

Rather than find an article about how to be courteous on social media sites I ended up at Teaching Resources by Laura Candler. The article is actually tips for teaching children face-to-face social skills. Not that some of these couldn't be used for online interactions but in general that is not what the list was designed for.

This surprise lead me to think about how common words have changed meanings over time. When someone says the word "Social" to you do you think "Party" (Social Event), "Talking" (Social Person) or "Facebook" (Social Media)?

Social is not the only word that can be confusing. Other words with new meanings due to social media include:
  • Tweet 
  • Friend
  • Post
  • Tag
  • Pin
Comedians have built entire careers by pointing out the, sometimes funny, multiple meanings of words. And as our language continues to evolve and change there will be many more scenarios for people to mis-communicate their ideas.

What are some other words that have drastically changed in meaning over the years? Let me know in the comments. (Keep it rated PG please.)