Really interesting read from engadget discussing Facebook’s slang detecting patent. The information gathered from this code could be an awesome source for linguists.
It’s tricky to catch slang while it’s still cutting edge. Unless you’re in the right social circles, you’ll probably hear that lingo when it hits the mainstream… in other words, when it’s already passé. Facebook might have a way to catch those words while they’re still hip, though. It received a patent for social glossary technology that would detect slang, acronyms and other neologisms. The conceptual software would look for terms that don’t have a known meaning (including familiar words out of context) and add them to the glossary if appropriate. It’d even pull terms out of the glossary if they fall out of favor — say, describing something as “totally tubular” when you’re not an ’80s-era surfer.
The code would make a note of the social groups using that slang based on everything from location to common traits like age. While it could automatically add terms on its own, Facebook raises the possibility of polling users to decide whether or not their turns of phrase should get official recognition.