Gen Z, Slang, and Stuff

Anonymous author, Daniela Vega, Giselle Chan,  Yuxiao Li

This study provides an analysis on the use of general extenders within Generation Z (Gen Z) online discourse. Utilizing qualitative analysis methods on social media dialogue (e.g. Youtube comments, Tweets, Spotify playlists, etc.) allows us to demonstrate how Gen Z members have created a new general extender (i.e. “and idk”). Where previous research studies on general extenders were narrowed to in-person discourse and interactions, this study examines the language pattern in the larger context of the internet across different social media discourse facilitators. It was a new context we were interested in providing research for because Gen Z is the first generation to grow up with the mass media culture, brought to them by the aforementioned social media outlets. Aptly so, Gen Z has created this new form of general extenders to expand their lexical inventory and engage in online discourse, as a pragmatic tool to index their emotions and stances. The interesting sociolinguistics findings on Gen Z and the use of general extenders are reflected on how this particular generation is constantly creating new slang terms (e.g. and idk), which builds intragenerational unity (with mutuals) but also causes intergenerational confusion (with the baby boomer generation referred to as the boomers); nonetheless, nuanced research is complicated with the lack of a corpus focusing on online discourse.

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