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LOL in the age of the telegraph

Collister, Lauren Brittany (2015) LOL in the age of the telegraph. The Conversation.

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From “lol” to “brb,” the internet and text messaging gave rise to a unique form of short form language – “textspeak” – in which almost all of us are well-versed. But long before the internet revolutionized communication, humans experienced a different sort of technological innovation: the telegraph. In 1837, the first commercial telegraphs were released by Samuel Morse, William Fothergill Cooke and Charles Wheatstone, and this machine – as journalist Tom Standage argues in his book The Victorian Internet – mirrored the impact that the internet has had in modern times. The result was an entirely new way to wield language – one that, in a number of ways, resembles today’s textspeak.


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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Collister, Lauren Brittany
Date: 1 September 2015
Date Type: Publication
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Journal or Publication Title: The Conversation
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Refereed: No
Official URL:
Article Type: Research Article
Date Deposited: 03 Nov 2015 16:44
Last Modified: 10 Sep 2020 15:55


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