Internet Dialects and Speech Communities

This week I decided to focus my attention to Mike Rugnetta’s idea of “communities of practice”. This is an idea that is described by groups of people who do things together and the way they define the meaning of things and the structure in they are used. Rugnetta then goes on to talk about how the majority of these things rely on being social and he calls them “social practices”. There are a number of different things that can describe what “communities of practice” and “social practices” are and they can range from worldviews that people share, to recognizable rules of thumb that people abide by. Penelope Eckert tells us that speakers can develop different speech patterns as they participate in the communities that they are a part of. Rugnetta also talks about how speech communities are very closely linked to communities of practice because speech communities are groups that have a common language, belief or ideology and their idea of membership. People are not limited in the number of speech communities that they are intertwined in, but I think that social media and the culture that we are currently living in are enablers for people to become members of more and more speech communities.

In my personal life, I feel that speech communities and communities of practices are playing a big role in people’s lives more and more. People are using the internet in almost every facet of their lives and people are communicating with each other so much that they are bound to find other people out there that share similar interests and values that they do. As far as my personal life, I live with 6 roommates that come from all different states and after we rejoin back here at UNH I find myself talking just like them. It could be anything from a saying that gets tossed around or the jokes that they tell. I pick up things that they say and I integrate them into my speech and I don’t even notice when I do it. As far as my social media is concerned, I am constantly joining different communities of practice and speech communities; when I am on Twitter and retweet something that I like or approve of, it is essentially like joining a speech community because I like the language that is involved about a certain event, saying, blurb or belief and I am then put into a group of other people who have retweeted or favorited the same thing. The same applies for when you share things on your Facebook page; you share things that you believe in or things that you and others think are important, and so you want to share that message with all your friends on Facebook. By sharing things, the community that believes in the same things as you grows.

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