Tag Archives: Social Media and Grammar

Social Media Vocabulary and Grammatical Standards – Part Two


It always surprises me the way words wriggle their way into our vocabularies.  Think about it!  Fifteen years ago, did any of us “Google” anything?  No way! (I barely used email!)  If you decided to write something along the lines of, “Totally enjoying #Sunday #Funday, don’t want the weekend to end! #NoWork #SoMuchForSleepingIn,” people would look at you like you were nuts!  It’s stuff like this that shows you just how much all of our social and professional spheres have changed, and it’s even more shocking to realize these transitions have occurred in a short amount of time!  After all, Twitter just celebrated its 7th anniversary (I have been officially married longer than that) and Facebook will hit its first decade in less than two years.

Social Media Grammar Standards

Jumping off of part one on social media grammar rules, I now provide you with the second installment of Internet grammar best practices, featuring the following words:

  • Google, Googling, Googled: This search engine trademark is a noun and a verb.  You can Google an answer to a question or check out old friends via a bit of Googling.  The word is always capitalized, no matter if you are using it as a noun or a verb.
  • Google+/Google Plus: Touted by the Google wizards as the next Facebook, this is a social network that is owned by the search giant and encourages users to share data, photos, video, etc. just like Zuckerberg’s brainchild.  However, Google+ actually organizes “circles” based on user interests, relationships, etc.  This social network is regularly represented via Google Plus and Google+.
  • Hashtag: The # is a form of online organization.  Commonly used on Twitter (although you will see it on other platforms simply because), the #hashtag designation is used so that a user is able to categorize what they are talking about, allowing for easy indexing and accessibility of their post in other users’ feeds.
  • iPad and iPhone: Both of these items are trademarked Apple products and should be written with a lowercase “i” and an uppercase “P.”  iPhone is correct, IPad is not.
  • LinkedIn: A social media platform that used to get a bad rap because it was widely known to be “boring.”  Today, however, new capability on the platform makes it very popular amongst professionals for networking, sharing of business-related data as well as for recruiting and hiring means.
  • LOL: An acronym simply meaning “laugh out loud.”  It could be argued that this is widely overused, especially when things are decidedly not funny.
  • MySpace: Yet another social media platform, one that originally got started as a precursor to Facebook and today is widely used by artists and creative types because of its ability to showcase information that Facebook does not.  The proper way to write this is as one word, with the “M” and the “S” both capitalized as in MySpace.
  • Pinterest: A social network platform that is visually based.  A user is provided the opportunity to collect and share images based on their interests.  Images can be organized via “boards” and users can “repin” their friends’ content on their own “board.”  Pinterest is a proper noun and should always be capitalized.

For the record, all of these grammar designations have been made by the AP Stylebook.  Just a quick disclaimer for all of you to know that I am not making this up as I go, but rather have looked into this information to help my own on-staff writers understand the styling of these words as we engage in professional writing and editing services for our myriad clients.

The team at Grammar Chic specializes in a variety of professional writing and editing services. For more information about how we can help you, visit www.grammarchic.net or call 803-831-7444. We also invite you to follow us on Twitter @GrammarChicInc for the latest in writing and editing tips and to give a “like” to our Facebook page. Text GRAMMARCHIC to 22828 for a special offer.

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Social Media and Grammar: The Standardization of Internet-Related Terms – Part One


There comes a point where style guides and dictionaries need to be updated, especially as terminology is introduced, evolves and stays implanted in the public’s lexicon.  With pretty much everyone operating in the online sphere in some way, shape or form these days, I believe that there should be some standardization as it relates to certain words and terms.  For instance, Internet is a proper noun and should be capitalized because there is only one.  Same goes for Web and World Wide Web; however, it all becomes a bit hazy when we begin using the word Web and pairing it with words like “copy,” “site” and “presence.”  Below I have listed new rules regarding how technology and social media-related terms should be standardized and presented in writing:

Social Media and Technology Terms You Need to Know:

  • App: Also known as “Application,” or software that has been developed for specific purposes.  If you are speaking about this term broadly, as in, “I just bought a new navigation app for my iPhone,” it should be lowercase.  If you are referencing, “I can’t find anything interesting in the Mac App Store,” it is a proper noun and should be capitalized.
  • Blog: This is a website that is typically run by an individual, a company or even a group of individuals where the information is presented in reverse chronological order, with the most recent post or information presented first.  A blog is the website platform itself, a blog post is an individual entry.
  • Check in: A “check in” can be a verb, a noun or an adjective.  This is most commonly referenced when someone “checks in” on Facebook or Foursquare.
  • Content Curation: This is the act of managing, selecting, presenting and discussing information that is specifically found for use on social media.  It is a form of content marketing where an individual does not necessarily create their own original content, but instead markets the material produced by others to provide information or data to their existing fan base or following.
  • E-Book: A book that has specifically been formatted for use and production on an e-reader, such as an Amazon Kindle, a Barnes & Noble Nook and the like.  This is usually presented in the form of “e-book” or “e-reader” when discussing the platform as a whole.
  • Email: Mail, messages or information sent through electronic means.  This word should be presented as one word and without a hyphen.  However, when referencing other forms of electronic related terms, you should present as “e-commerce” and the aforementioned “e-book” and “e-reader.”
  • Facebook: This is currently the world’s most popular and most used social networking platform.  Created by Mark Zuckerberg while he was attending Harvard as an undergraduate, the word is a proper noun and should be capitalized no matter how you are using it; for instance, “My mom and I were Facebooking this afternoon,” or “I just logged onto Facebook and uploaded my pictures from vacation.”
  • Friend, Follow and Like:  These words, as they relate to the world of social media, are acceptable as nouns and verbs.  The words refer specifically to actions and relationships on Facebook and Twitter. “Friending” and “liking” refers to Facebook interactions and “following” happens on Twitter.

In part two of this post, we will go deeper into the social media and Internet-related terms that have become forefront in our vocabulary in recent years.  Feel free to use this information as a guide and be a part of standardizing the usage of this Internet-related language.

The team at Grammar Chic specializes in a variety of professional writing and editing services. For more information about how we can help you, visit www.grammarchic.net or call 803-831-7444. We also invite you to follow us on Twitter @GrammarChicInc for the latest in writing and editing tips and to give a “like” to our Facebook page. Text GRAMMARCHIC to 22828 for a special offer.


Filed under Grammar, Social Media