English Language
Language and Technology

Language and Technology

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The Interconnectedness of Language and Technology

In today's world, technology has become an integral part of our daily lives, permeating all aspects of our existence. From communication and organization to banking and household tasks, our reliance on technology is apparent. And at the heart of these technological advancements is language, allowing us to interact and communicate with them.

With this in mind, let's take a closer look at the inseparable connection between language and technology.

The Inseparable Bond between Language and Technology

As mentioned, language and technology are inextricably linked. The development and creation of any technological advancement involve extensive use of language, whether through collaboration among researchers and scientists or through instructions given to the technology itself.

Wherever there is technology, language is also present, solidifying their inseparable bond.

The Crucial Role of Language in Technology

Not only is language necessary for the existence of technology, but it also plays a crucial role in its control, instruction, and modification. In fact, some may argue that language is essential for the success of technology.

Language serves as the foundation of technology, used to create the code that allows machines to function. And even after the technology is operational, users continue to rely on language to communicate with it, whether by posting on social media or inputting personal information.

Prominent Theories on Language and Technology

Just like any other subject, language and technology have been extensively studied by theorists. One notable figure in this field is Caroline Tagg, who explores how social media has influenced language use and self-expression. In her book, "The Language of Social Media: Identity and Community on the Internet" (2014), Tagg and Seargent discuss the revolutionary impact of social media platforms on connecting people. They also reference Frigyes Karinthy's concept of 'six degrees of separation', highlighting how technology has facilitated easier connections with others.

Furthermore, Tagg emphasizes how technology has transformed our sense of identity, constantly evolving and adapting. With the help of technology, we can easily present different versions of ourselves to the world, making it a much more efficient way of communicating these changes.

The Impact of Communication Technology on Language Use

Social media has significantly expanded our ability to present ourselves to a larger audience, as observed by Naomi Baron, who also discusses the influence of communication technology on our communication habits and perceptions. In her book "Always On: Language in an Online and Mobile World" (2008), Baron delves into how the rapid development of technology has changed our attitude towards communication.

For instance, the convenience of easily accessing the weather forecast on Google has reduced our need for direct communication with others for such information. Baron also notes that technology has enabled us to stay connected with people who are geographically distant, without the time and cost of traveling.

Gretchen McCulloch explores the impact of the rise of social media on language use and communication in her book "Because Internet: Understanding How Language is Changing" (2019). McCulloch suggests that before the internet, written language primarily followed standard linguistic forms, but now anyone can effortlessly become a writer. She states, "Writing has become an integral, conversational part of our daily lives."

As technology becomes a more prominent tool for communication, our language use has evolved to reflect this change. For example, social media has led to a more informal and casual tone in written communication, with the use of abbreviations, acronyms, and emojis. McCulloch highlights that while older generations may yearn for face-to-face conversations, younger generations embrace the technological advancements that enhance online communication. However, regardless of the mode of communication, the ultimate aim remains the same - fulfilling our needs and desires. Some common needs for communication include physical contact (e.g. hugging), emotional support, and exchanging information.

The Importance of Human Language Technology

Human Language Technology (HLT) plays a crucial role in improving communication efficiency through various technological devices and programs. These applications not only assist individuals with conditions that may hinder verbal communication, but they also support computers in performing tasks that were once solely done by humans.

But how exactly do HLT applications benefit communication? Let's explore some examples:

  • Individuals with hearing impairments can use devices like hearing aids, along with speech-to-text programs that convert spoken language into text, to enhance their hearing and comprehension.
  • Those with disabilities that affect their ability to speak can rely on computer-based communication systems, such as Stephen Hawking's voice synthesizer, to improve their independence in communicating.
  • Translation apps, such as Google Translate, assist individuals in communicating with others in different languages by translating text back and forth.

Through HLT applications, communication becomes more accessible and efficient for people with diverse needs, closing gaps and enhancing human interaction in our ever-changing technological world.

The Interplay Between Language, Technology, and Mass Media

As you read this article, you may have noticed how language and technology are intertwined. To further explore this relationship, let's delve into how mass media has sparked global collaboration and societal change.

Prior to the 2008 US presidential election, concerns arose about potential voter suppression. In response, citizens from all over the country united through the Video the Vote movement. They documented their polling stations and instances of voter suppression through photos and videos, making the information accessible to anyone with internet access. This empowered individuals to make informed choices when casting their vote.

In 2008, a massive earthquake measuring 7.2 on the Richter scale struck China's Sichuan province. People living in the affected areas quickly shared photos, videos, and accounts of the destruction on the internet. This brought to light that many collapsed school buildings were built with substandard materials, leading to accusations of government corruption. The information spread through mass media, triggering widespread protests in China.

How Technology has Transformed Language

The rise of technology has brought about significant changes in the way we communicate, some of which may seem unusual but also have their benefits. While some argue that technology has hindered meaningful conversations, others believe it has enriched our language and expanded communication possibilities.

One notable change is the widespread use of emojis as a form of nonverbal communication on digital platforms. Abbreviations and acronyms, such as "JK" (just kidding) and "IDK" (I don't know), are now commonly used in both written and verbal communication, particularly among younger generations.

Moreover, social media has given rise to new terminology, such as "unfriend," and has also led to the appropriation of English words with new meanings. For example, the word "troll" now refers to making fun of someone on the internet in a disruptive and attention-seeking manner. Technology has also made our communication more casual and colloquial, whether in written or verbal form.

Additionally, technology has brought about the rise of multimodality in communication, allowing for the combination of various modes such as text, images, videos, music, and sounds. It has also made information more accessible and shareable, breaking down barriers and connecting people from different parts of the world.

Technology's Impact on Language UsageWith the rise of technology, our methods of communication have evolved. Writing in ALL CAPS, once seen as shouting, is now used to express emphasis, while lowercase letters signify a normal speaking tone. Along with this, other changes in language have emerged, such as the use of abbreviations and acronyms, due to technological limitations. This has prompted us to adapt and find creative ways to express ourselves within these constraints. Have you noticed how technology has affected your language usage?

Connections Between Technology and Language

As technology continues to advance and become deeply ingrained in our daily lives, we also see its influence on other aspects of language. Just as different demographics may use language differently without the intervention of technology, the same is true for communication aided by technology. In this article, we will explore how technology has impacted language use in relation to gender, power, and age.


Technology has the power to alter the way we communicate, especially when it comes to gender. It serves as a tool for constructing and expressing one's identity, and this is particularly relevant in terms of gender. Studies have shown that different genders make distinct linguistic choices on social media and other technological platforms to solidify their identity and present it to their peers. It's not just about what we say, but how we say it. For example, linguist Deborah Tannen (1990) suggests that women tend to use more supportive, intimate, and emotional language compared to men. This can also be observed in the language used on social media, with phrases like "u ok, hun?" conveying empathy and care.


The relationship between language and power is a topic often explored in English language studies. Language can be used in various ways and contexts to acquire, assert, or maintain power. The same can be observed in language used on social media and other applications. With technology, individuals can connect with others worldwide without having to physically travel, allowing them to expand their power and authority. This applies not just to large companies or organizations, but also to ordinary individuals who can utilize technology to achieve significant results and gain influence.


Age is also a significant factor in language use, even in communication aided by technology. Younger generations, having grown up with social media and technology, tend to use more abbreviations, idiomatic language, and other recent linguistic features. On the other hand, older generations, who were introduced to technology later in life, may have less experience or interest in adapting their language. They may also have difficulty understanding social media terms like "troll," "meme," and "emoji." This highlights the impact that technology has on language and how it may differ across generations.

The Impact of Technology on Language

Overall, technology and language have a close relationship, as technology relies on communication to function. Research has shown how technology has revolutionized the way people connect and establish their identity, making it easier to build social networks, according to Caroline Tagg. Linguist Naomi Baron adds that technology has also changed human interactions and attitudes, providing convenient solutions for communication and daily issues. Writer Gretchen McCulloch delves into the use of language to express needs and how different generations view the impact of technology on this aspect. While older generations may have a negative perception of technology, younger generations embrace it. Additionally, the use of Human Language Technology Applications can aid individuals with communication difficulties, highlighting the positive impact of technology on language.

The Interconnectedness of Language and Technology

Language and technology are inextricably linked, with the development of technology having a significant impact on how language is used and communicated. This field of study, known as language and technology, explores the intersection of these two aspects and their influence on society.

The Impact of Technology on Language

Technology has revolutionized the way we communicate, creating new forms of language and shaping our linguistic choices. From programming instructions to everyday conversations, language plays a crucial role in operating technology, while technology, in turn, affects our language use over time.

As new technologies emerge, they introduce new words and phrases into our lexicon, constantly changing and expanding the English language. We also see the incorporation of acronyms and the repurposing of words in the context of technology.

Technology's Contribution to Communication Enhancement

Advancements in technology have also led to the development of Human Language Technology applications, aiding individuals with communication difficulties. These tools can assist in speech and language development and improve communication for those who require it.

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