It always surprises me the way words wriggle their way into our vocabularies. Think about it! Fifteen years ago, did any of us “Google” anything? No way! (I barely used email!) If you decided to write something along the lines of, “Totally enjoying #Sunday #Funday, don’t want the weekend to end! #NoWork #SoMuchForSleepingIn,” people would look at you like you were nuts! It’s stuff like this that shows you just how much all of our social and professional spheres have changed, and it’s even more shocking to realize these transitions have occurred in a short amount of time! After all, Twitter just celebrated its 7th anniversary (I have been officially married longer than that) and Facebook will hit its first decade in less than two years.
Social Media Grammar Standards
Jumping off of part one on social media grammar rules, I now provide you with the second installment of Internet grammar best practices, featuring the following words:
- Google, Googling, Googled: This search engine trademark is a noun and a verb. You can Google an answer to a question or check out old friends via a bit of Googling. The word is always capitalized, no matter if you are using it as a noun or a verb.
- Google+/Google Plus: Touted by the Google wizards as the next Facebook, this is a social network that is owned by the search giant and encourages users to share data, photos, video, etc. just like Zuckerberg’s brainchild. However, Google+ actually organizes “circles” based on user interests, relationships, etc. This social network is regularly represented via Google Plus and Google+.
- Hashtag: The # is a form of online organization. Commonly used on Twitter (although you will see it on other platforms simply because), the #hashtag designation is used so that a user is able to categorize what they are talking about, allowing for easy indexing and accessibility of their post in other users’ feeds.
- iPad and iPhone: Both of these items are trademarked Apple products and should be written with a lowercase “i” and an uppercase “P.” iPhone is correct, IPad is not.
- LinkedIn: A social media platform that used to get a bad rap because it was widely known to be “boring.” Today, however, new capability on the platform makes it very popular amongst professionals for networking, sharing of business-related data as well as for recruiting and hiring means.
- LOL: An acronym simply meaning “laugh out loud.” It could be argued that this is widely overused, especially when things are decidedly not funny.
- MySpace: Yet another social media platform, one that originally got started as a precursor to Facebook and today is widely used by artists and creative types because of its ability to showcase information that Facebook does not. The proper way to write this is as one word, with the “M” and the “S” both capitalized as in MySpace.
- Pinterest: A social network platform that is visually based. A user is provided the opportunity to collect and share images based on their interests. Images can be organized via “boards” and users can “repin” their friends’ content on their own “board.” Pinterest is a proper noun and should always be capitalized.
For the record, all of these grammar designations have been made by the AP Stylebook. Just a quick disclaimer for all of you to know that I am not making this up as I go, but rather have looked into this information to help my own on-staff writers understand the styling of these words as we engage in professional writing and editing services for our myriad clients.
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