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Twitter slang comes mainly from African-Americans, study shows

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta found that much of the English shorthand used on Twitter stems from urban African-American populations in the US.

twitter jargonEnlarge
A new study shows that shorthand used on social media tends to evolve from slang used by urban African-Americans. (Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

Twitter jargon was found to evolve from African-American slang a new study showed this week.

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta found that much of the English shorthand used on Twitter stems from urban African-American populations in the US.

Study author Jacob Eisenstein and his team looked at 40 million Twitter messages by about 400,000 people between June 2009 and May 2011.

The complex analysis saw the team map the messages and determine how each urban center influences another, said BBC.

The authors created a map that allows one to see the influence of phrases, shorthand and expressions; spreading from one place to another.

ANI reported that the map showed the origins of numerous Twitter short-forms.

The majority of which stemmed from urban centers with large African-American populations.

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For instance, they found that the word "bruh," which is brother, was developed in the southeastern US cities and then moved to Los Angeles.

Cleveland invented "ctfu," or "cracking the f*** up," which then moved eastward.

The researchers also found that cities that are ethnically and economically similar loan words to each other no matter how far the geographical distance, said the New Scientist.

The unpublished study may help further the understanding as to whether social media is driving the evolution of language and whether that evolution has recently sped up.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/science/121120/twitter-slang-comes-mainly-african-americans-study-shows