Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Chatlish: The Language of Chatrooms

I recently joined a language forum called "Using English" and encountered an interesting new portmanteau word - chatlish. Chatlish is defined on the Urban Dictionary website as: "words or abbreviations that are used in internet chatrooms." I think a more succinct way to define it would be to say chatlish is the language of chatrooms.

Following is what the Using English forum has to say about chatlish:
"Please don't use 'chatlish'; this is a forum, not a chatroom."

Followed by:
"This is a forum for discussing the English language. There is no need to write formally, but this is not a chatroom, so please write normal English, with punctuation, capital letters and words written in full; use you not u, I not i, great not gr8, etc. Don't worry about making mistakes, which is normal when learning a language, but do please try to make your English easy to read."

Whether writing in a forum or a chatroom, or writing a text message, I wish everyone would take the time to write in "normal English," after all, chatlish looks like something a 3rd grader would use in an attempt to be cute.

1 comment:

Alii Silverwing said...

That's a new word for me. I've always heard it called chatspeak rather than chatlish.

In many of the forums I frequent (usually writing forums) there is always a rule about, "No chatspeak whatsoever!"

But, then again, chatspeak as I know it came from the old-school AOL chatrooms back in the day and was named so because it was along the same vein as leetspeak.

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