When looking at many Tweets you can find many 'elaborations' on words, eg. hi > hiiiii, hello > helllloooooo, down > downnnnn. They are not exactly slang in my own opinion, maybe they are but of a different type. It seems like they are trying to convey an emphasis change or draw more attention. Also, they are not completely new words and don't look like they might become either. Have such modifications been categorized? Is there a name to identify such usages of normal words? From what I know I have only seen them being used in Twitter.

  • 1
    These have definitely been in use long before Twitter existed. IRC is the first place I saw them; over two decades ago. – Ian MacDonald Mar 20 '15 at 21:24
  • @IanMacDonald, good point, what are they called? where else did you see them used alot? – Vass Mar 20 '15 at 21:26

Word lengthening:

  • Linguist Michael Erard told The Atlantic that word lengthening, also referred to as expressive lengthening, stems from a desire to incorporate verbal speech in digital communication. “When people talk, they use intonation in a number of varied and subtle ways … There’s a lot of emotional nuance that can be conveyed that you can’t do in writing.”

(from theatlantic.com)

Ngram: Helloooo - word lengthening was used in papers and magazines also before tech devises were invented, but its usage has consistently increased since the 80's with the spread of digital communications.

| improve this answer | |
  • This is definietly not new. Search Project Gutenberg, for example, instances in literature (old enough to be out-of-copyright) of the words "Helloo", "Hello-o" (slightly lengthened Hello), "Hellooo" (lengthened Hello), "H-e-l-l-o-o-o" (lengthened and slowed down Hello). There are no doubt countless other words that could be lengthened in a similar fashion. – Brandin Mar 21 '15 at 9:32

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.