'Poking' your way

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'Poking' your way


Hey. I poked you yesterday. Why didn’t you reply to my scrap?

That was twittastic.

If you are wondering what we are talking about, this is the new language which the youth of today speaks in. Thanks to the number of social networking websites, words like facebooking, tweeting and orkutting have become a part of the youngsters’ lives, as well as their dictionaries. Metrolife speaks to a few regulars on these sites, and finds out the role that these terms play in their lives.

Amith Kumar, a manager in Mphasis, was more into Orkut but has been using Facebook more often these days. “Poking, tagging and wall to wall are the most commonly used terms,” he says. Amith uses these terms while speaking to his friends, who are on the same site. “There was a funny situation once when I asked my friend, ‘When did you poke me?’,” he laughs. He feels that the lingos are catching because for today’s generation, the shorter the words, the better. “It is the SMS generation so everything has to be quick and short.”

Arts’ graduate Sphoorti is a part of many networking sites — Hi5, Orkut, Facebook and Twitter. “I used to be on Hi5 many years ago, when I was in school. Poking originally started on that site before Facebook while tagging started with Orkut,” she explains.
“What’s up has become what you tweeting amongst the youngsters,” she informs. “But more than the networking sites, it’s the Internet itself, that has brought forward a lot of lingos like LOL (Laugh Out Loud), ROTFLOL (Rolling On The Floor Laughing Out Loud),” she feels.   

Says Praharsha, an engineering student, “I am a part of Orkut, Twitter and Facebook, and have been exploring Myspace also, of late.” He adds, “Scrapping and facebooking are very commonly used these days.” However,  Praharsha doesn’t use these terms very often in his day-to-day life.

“I use these words only while talking to the not-so-close friends online,” he says. But he feels that gen-Y should learn to draw a line between the real and the virtual. “These lingos shouldn’t become a part of their sub-conscious minds,” he adds.

“I don’t poke but I tag very often,” says Swathi, a post-graduate student pursuing her masters in the US, who is on Facebook, Orkut and Twitter. “Since I carry a camera with me everywhere I go, I click a lot of pictures and tag my friends,” she explains. “So a line that I commonly use with my friends is, ‘Have you seen the photos that I tagged you in?’”

Swathi feels that the social networking site lingos play the most important role in the lives of the teenagers these days. “The term OMG (Oh My God) is very popularly used on the Net,” she says. “But in the US, 12 and 13-year-olds say OMJ (Oh My Jonas),” she adds referring to the American music band, The Jonas Brothers.

Apart from Facebook, Satya is a part of the more professional networking sites like LinkedIn and SiliconIndia. “Both these are the platforms where professional interact with one another, so lingos are generally not used on these sites,” he says.

However, Metrolife came across one of the words used on LinkedIn called twinkedIn which refers to inviting friends made on Twitter to connect with one on LinkedIn.

But are these lingos are affecting the spoken and the written language? Youngsters are of mixed opinion. “Indian English isn’t all that good in the first place. And with these words, it has completely deteriorated,” says Sphoorti. While Praharsha feels, “We don’t have to speak in impeccable English all the time. As long as you can communicate and the other person can understand, it’s fine.”

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