Digital communication influences tone and language

In a study among 100 German linguists, the majority of all linguists interviewed (69%) consider that due to the increasing digital communication, the written tone of communication in professional environment becomes more informal. What applies to the German language has also been discovered in all major languages of the world.

Digital communication has an influence on grammar and structure in that it simplifies sentence structures, e.g. the use of shorter sentences, less complex or incomplete sentences. There is a significant increase in spoken language structures infiltrating the written language. General changes in grammar, punctuation or spelling are noticeable such as less attention to upper and lower case or of punctuation. Endings are shortened or abbreviations are used more often. With shorter attention span and influence from other languages – mostly English on others – there is an increase in neologisms or new words in almost all languages.

Whether you know when to use formal or informal English in a business or academic environment depends on the person/group you are talking to and the audience. Here is an overview if you are uncertain when to use which style.

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