Net kills English

The latest in an occasional series of scare stories

The Net is sucking the very lifeblood out of the English language and creating a new lingua franca of its own.

According to research published by British marketing consultancy, Fourth Room, Weblish - not is the new Net-enabled language.

The basic rules of this new language are :

* The apostrophe is dead. Its no longer needed.
* Spelling mistakes - even in formal emails - are acceptible.
* writing emails entirely in lower case is fine for creative professionals
* Addressing someone as Mr, Mrs and Miss is too formal and old-fashioned. Most emails now open with 'Hi' or 'Hello'
* Signing off 'Yours Faithfully' or 'Yours Sincerely' is obsolete
* More suffixes than you've had hot dinners eg: - scape, -babble, - centric. (That's officescape, technobabble, webcentric)
* Elimination of the hyphen, eg: cooperate, inbetween
* Word combining, eg: workinglunch.
* Increasing use of acronyms and symbols, eg: COP (Close of Play - end of the working day), B4N (bye for now), F2F (face to face)

According to those in the know, a new digitally literate class is taking away the power to shape and define language from the likes of teachers, political leaders and newspaper editors.

Piers Schmidt, CEO of The Fourth Room, said: "The global nature of the Internet means new words and phrases are absorbed and transmitted at incredible speed.

"It's about communicating via hi-tech tools - sending a mobile phone text message (SMS) or firing off an email from your laptop," he said. ®

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