This article was published on March 8, 2016

Hipster Facebook wants to detect new slang before it goes mainstream

Hipster Facebook wants to detect new slang before it goes mainstream
Bryan Clark
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Bryan Clark

Former Managing Editor, TNW

Bryan is a freelance journalist. Bryan is a freelance journalist.

According to a new patent, Facebook is exploring new software designed to scan the social network looking for emerging slang and nicknames. Once found, the software would deposit the terms neatly into a “social glossary” for further analysis.

The patent, which was granted in February, details a means of analyzing these terms by scouring posts and messages to look for new pieces of language — called neologisms — that are gaining acceptance by a relatively small group, but aren’t yet widely accepted.

Grammar Monster detailed a few examples of neologisms that are now accepted into modern language — d’oh!, wicked (meaning good), to Google — as well as those that are nearing acceptance, like: metrosexual, noob, staycation and troll. Then, there are new neologisms, such as: oversharer and digital detox.

Facebook’s aim is to catch repeated instances of these slang terms and cross-reference them to be sure it’s not a phrase that’s already widely used. If it’s new, the term will make its way to the glossary.

The process will look something like this:

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Even better, the glossary will drop terms as they fall out of favor because knowing that the roof isn’t on fire and we’re no longer letting the dogs out is half the battle. Is the Dougie still a thing?

Facebook has an idea for software that detects cool new slang before it goes mainstream [Business Insider]

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