Creating vocal tone in an email, a tweet, or any other written document can be hard. When you talk, voice inflection and highs and lows can create different meanings with the same sentence. If your voice raises at the end of a sentence, it usually means you're asking a question. While adding a question mark implies you're asking a question when writing, using certain nuances can change if it's meant to be sarcastic or rhetorical.

From the early days of Twitter to Tumblr and the chain e-mails we all sent in middle school, shortened Language has created a new type of writing that can make not speaking in-person get your meaning across clearly. New types of language are always being developed, and this is one that younger generations don't need to be taught. They just know it.

Millennial language differences

Using different punctuation or symbols can directly emphasize your point in a sentence.

The capitalization in the middle of sentences almost creates pauses so you can hear in your head how the writer meant the piece to be read. When you see capitalized letters in the middle of a word (surPRISED) it can create the lift in the voice which could indicate a mocking or sarcastic tone.

While you might not be able to physically explain how each individual change is created in the sentence or what it means, you can hear the difference in your head.

No more will we have a text message with miscommunicated meanings. We can know exactly what our friends are saying and how they are saying it. In addition to this new type of text pattern, each individual conversation can have nuances, almost like inside jokes with each other. It might be your thing to always put two periods after a sentence, and the person you are messaging knows it's not a typo. This new language can create an aesthetic on the page and can help create a style and voice for yourself that anyone can identify.

Older generations

While this is a new way to type and read, it is a style Older People may have trouble getting used to. Our ever-changing society is always developing and just like how emojis have paralleled the time of hieroglyphics, this form of typing can help stop Miscommunication over the internet.

This type of language may not seem formal or a language to use in the workspace, and for now, that might be true. Every day we see the guidelines for business-appropriateness change as new generations are entering the workforce. Tattoos and unnaturally colored hair are becoming more commonplace and are gradually becoming a part of the circle for whats acceptable and professional. So, while appearances are changing with who's working, why not the way we communicate, change as well?

Examples of different meanings

Here are some examples of differences you might see.

  • yes v.yess v. yes.
    • The second version shows more enthusiasm or passion and the third shows that you mean to be curt and short with someone.
  • oh v. o v.ohhhhh
    • The first is the more traditional way of acknowledging something while the second is short almost to mimic your mouth. The third with no capital h's can signify a long drawn out realization, while the capital letters could show rise and fall in vocal tone.
  • k v. k. v. okay v. ok
    • This is the most common change that older people have seen. The period adds finality and can mean annoyance or a person being upset. Many people have been offended by receiving a single k because it has been known to show that you don't care. Okay is a more casual way to express yourself.

When you see incorrect grammar online or misspelled words, take it with a grain of salt. It could be intentional to show meaning. Read and explore Twitter and other online sites to try to incorporate this type of speech into your typing. Practice and you just might be able to change how the world reads your work.

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