Facebook is developing a new system that helps decrypt how millennials speak

Igor Bonifacic

March 8, 2016 6:00pm

A new patent application by Facebook suggests the popular social network wants to track changes in language as they occur in real-time.

According to Business Insider, the patent, granted to Facebook last month, describes a new system that will allow the social network to parse what users are posting on its platform for something called neologisms and then add them to a so-called “social glossary.”

Per Wikipedia, a neologism is a word or term that’s starting to find common usage, particularly by specific groups or subcultures, but has yet to gain mainstream notoriety. Recent examples include a variety of terms used often by millennials like “lit” and “on fleek.”

It’s currently not clear what Facebook will do with this type of system, though Business Insider suggests one possible use case is a glossary that detects terms that haven’t been accepted by the likes of the Oxford English Dictionary and Oxford Dictionary. This could help users as they send messages to their friends on the company’s Messenger and WhatsApp chat platforms.

As with all patent applications, it’s important to note Facebook may decided to do nothing with it.

  • Tyrannosaur3464

    People who speak using these terms in a serious sense should have their tongues and thumbs removed. Butchering the English language.

    • Igor Bonifacic

      A language is a constantly evolving thing. We’ve been “butchering” English for centuries.

    • Marc Palumbo

      That’s a great reply. All languages evolve, but the North American English has to be the worst.

    • Marc, what a lit response.

    • Marc Palumbo

      Why can’t I downvote on Disqus?


  • Stephen K

    Good! I am a melenial and I don’t know what they are saying half the time!

  • TheShinraCorp .

    U wut m8? U don’t spk the 1337 langage? GTFO scrub.

    No but seriously, I don’t like people who write like cavemen, but it’s the same thing in French anyway. The Millenials are butchering both French and English so it’s always fun correcting them when messaging them back.

  • Instead of dumbing down everyone else, why doesn’t Facebook figure out an app to improve how millennials speak in 2016?