Tumblr users just rationalized their own punctuation-less teenspeak

Tumblr users just rationalized their own punctuation-less teenspeak

Teens these days are known for a lot of things — selfies, loving Harry Styles, shamelessly asking to #followback — but grammar is not one of them.

In fact, the level of grammar usage at perpetual kitten GIF factory Tumblr has sunk so low that people aren’t even bothering to put punctuation on anything anymore. User copperbooms inquired of the issue in a conversation that ended up on Tumblr’s official staff page.

Screenshot 2015-07-09 16.03.15

Now buckle up, because here’s where things start to get linguistically heavy. User prismatic-bell reblogged copperbooms’ inquiry, arguing that the lack of punctuation isn’t wholly universal to Tumblr, but has become its own specific form of speech. Furthermore, that not including punctuation on a blog implies a specific ranting tone designed to mimic rhetorical speech.

If that weren’t enough of a mind-trip, she also adds that by excluding all punctuation to function as the tone of rhetorical speech, teens have (unintentionally) created something bigger:

A group of teens and young adults on a blogging website literally reshaped a deficit a millennium and a half old in our language to fit their language needs. More! This group has agreed on a more or less universal standard for these new rules, which fits the definition of “language.” Which is to say Tumblr English is its own actual, real, separate dialect of the English language, and because it is spoken by people worldwide who have introduced concepts from their own languages into it, it may qualify as a written form of pidgin.

So, essentially, no punctuation is punctuation. It’s a whole dialect, not just teens casually avoiding anything their schooling has taught them. Black is white. Up is down. Cats and dogs are living together.

Tumblr responded to prismatic-bell’s argument the only way it conceivably could.

Screenshot 2015-07-09 16.12.57


Tumblr Staff Blog [Tumblr]

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