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.