Having previously explored Doctor Who as a religion and cosplay as theater, Mike Rugnetta’s latest PBS Idea Channel video posits that the Internet is made up of distinct dialects. Which explains why people “can’t even” on Tumblr while they are more likely to be #blessed on Facebook (and perhaps ironically #blessed on Twitter). After explaining that a dialect encompasses “word choice, vocabulary, and how words are arranged and used” Rugnetta examines spaces like 4Chan and Tumblr where vocabulary intersects with the platforms’ programming capabilities (GIFs on Tumblr, green texting on 4chan). Pushing even farther, Rugnetta argues that word choice can reflect a site’s value system, connecting his ideas to Educational Theorist Étienne Wenger’s “Communities Of Practice” and Linguistics Professor Penelope Eckert’s thoughts on sociolinguistics. Taking up only eight minutes of this 13-minute video, Rugnetta’s dissection will undoubtedly allow Internet users to feel way smarter about their next retweet, reblog, and upvote.
TL;DR: Video much good. Very learning.