Neologism is the new word I learnt while reading up on how the Facebook slangs dictionary is going to work. The gist is, Facebook wants to create a dictionary of new words or phrases that are trending on social media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
A couple of weeks ago, Facebook was granted a patent to a software to help it achieve this linguistic dream. Apparently the software is going to scour social forums where people are having a bit of conversation. You know, conversations between couples, friends, rivals; basically talk between people. What the software does is to look out for new words used frequently. Or new phrases that appear with a fair bit of regularity. The software then adds the word’s to its digital data base of new words. And just like that, the Facebook slangs dictionary would be created.
According to rumours, the Facebook slangs dictionary would be open to the public to edit existing words or add new words to it. If that is true, I hope the software is good enough to filter out the thrash some naughty people would do to it in the name of fun. Maybe, the fact that the software’s algorithm would be able to remove words that is losing popularity (or removing a new word that is not gaining enough traction) would be enough to filter out pranksters.
Does this remind you of a certain Urban Dictionary? The urban dictionary contains a collection of words you’ll never find in a traditional dictionary. And it is very popular. When I started doing Facebook and the likes, the urban dictionary was a life-saver. I searched for and discovered Urban Dictionary after I got tired of asking veterans of social media what acronyms like ‘lol’, ‘omg’, ‘brb’, ‘btw’, ‘fyi’ and the ubiquitous ‘lmao’ stood for. Actually, it was the fact that it was very uncool to ask such questions that led me to the Urban dictionary to get the answers for myself.
So, is Facebook trying to re-invent the Urban dictionary with the Facebook slangs dictionary? Facebook would never come out to say so of course. The Facebook team would of course try to make it look like Facebook slangs dictionary is peerless. Or it is the newest creation of the great minds working at Facebook. You know, Something the world has never seen before.
But Facebook being a Tech giant with unlimited funds can do a lot with a project like this. Their financial muscles can mean this: Facebook slangs dictionary can become as popular as Merriam-Webster online dictionary and thesaurus if they show enough commitment. On the other hand, it is not cast in solid terabytes that the project would actually go beyond the testing phase. At tech giants like Facebook, ideas get born everyday and get binned at the same rate too. So we would just have to wait and see if the Facebook slangs dictionary would become more than just a concept.
BTW, if you haven’t looked it up yet, Neologism is at the heart of what Facebook is attempting to do with the slang dictionary. It means,
‘the name for a relatively new or isolated term, word, or phrase that may be in the process of entering common use, but that has not yet been accepted into mainstream language.’
OMG! FYI, BTW means, ‘by the way.‘
photo credits: nydailynews.com; techspot.com