Social Media Words and Phrases in the Academic World

Updated: Oct 31, 2016

Hashtag: #RuinAFriendShipin5Words

Social Media Words and Phrases in the Academic World

Slang and Shortened Words are Too Casual and Vague to Others

Slang words like “cops” and “pigs”, phrases similar to “It’s cool”, and shortened words such as texting terms (“r u”, “2moro”, etc.) are never tolerated in the academic sphere.

One good reason is that readers of academic papers are not limited to natives, but include individuals from different ethnic groups who do not understand English slang words. Another is the fact that slang words are too informal for scholarly works that are mostly intended for a critical and educated audience. Shortened words, on the other hand, are usually texting terms that are rarely used in the academic sphere and may be misinterpreted by some readers.

Identifying somebody from Asia using the phrase “that Oriental man” is offensive and humiliating to that particular person. Similarly, calling or labeling a black person “Nigger” is a mockery of his ethnicity. Moreover, they signify racial discrimination, a humanitarian issue that the academic world strongly opposed.

People commonly use the word “retard” as a more sarcastic substitute for the word “stupid”. “Retard” is, in reality, a hate speech and oral transgression generally aimed to make somebody with mental and developmental disabilities feel bad. The word “retard” according to one study is scary and hurtful to those with intellectual problems. The affected individual often feels bitterness and often becomes aloof and socially isolated.

Derogatory, Discriminatory, and Rude Words Offend People

Insulting and discriminatory words hurt people’s feelings and dignity as human beings and therefore unacceptable in the academic world.

The word “toilet” may be all right for other people, but it is insulting to an older generation. Similarly, words such as “wuss” or a weakling, “derp” or foolish and popular phrases like “That’s so gay” and “Don’t be a girl” have a huge emotional impact on people. A college in the United Kingdom banned the words “history”, “lady”, “mad”, “crazy”, and “slaving” because they are offensive to different people. These insulting words according to this institution offend women, ethnic groups, homosexuals, and upset those with mental illness.

The phrase “taking the Mickey” is considered Anti-Irish and therefore racially offensive. The phrase “Go to hell” that most people frequently hear on TV is cruel and severely degrade someone’s dignity. Similarly, swear or rude words like “damn”, “scumbag”, “cripple”, and other dirty or obscene language hurts people’s feelings and dignity. These foul languages are somewhat comparable to Twitter users phrases that are offensive enough to #RuinAFriendShipin5Words such as “Dude, your sister is hot”, “I don’t like infected mushrooms”, or “Wow your baby is dumb”

Ethics is the main reason for restricting these offensive and derogatory words. The academic world is against any form of marginalization, bias, narrow-mindedness, and stereotyping. The other reason is practical. For example, the meaning of incomplete words is often difficult to comprehend and therefore likely to be misunderstood and interpreted differently by readers. Words that are not inclusive can personally affect some readers while others, thinking that such words are inapplicable to their circumstances, disregard them at once.

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