Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has been granted a patent for software that will scan the social network with the aim of detecting developing terms and nicknames and storing them in a ‘social glossary’. The patent was granted on February according to Business Insider, and it is for a system that will examine messages and post for the purpose of detecting neologism, which means new pieces of language that are being used by a group of people but are not in common use yet. Other than tracking new slangs, it will also delete outdated phrases with the aim of staying on trend with the latest acronyms, terms, and latest abbreviations.
Once the system spots a new term, it will double check if the phrase is not already in use and determine whether to add it or not. If it is a new phrase that has a growing popularity, then it will add it. In the patent, Facebook has noted that the system will look for portmanteaus, terms of art, syllabic abbreviation, names, re-purpose words, nicknames or any other type of coined phrase or word. They have given the example of a term like ‘rickrolled’ being added to the social glossary as a verb that refers to an action which one can perform to another. ‘rickrolled’ means sending someone a video of Rick Astley song ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ as a prank.
Facebook did not state how the glossary technology would be used though in the patent filling it suggest that the information collected could create better predictive text that would put new words into the autocorrect function to enable better tracking of what is happening on the internet. It is also already known that Facebook has been working on trending-tracking technology for years.
The system might help users to understand different slang phrases and words that they are not familiar with. Over time, there have been plenty of digital definitions that have emerged in the web before being widely used in reference e.g. ‘digital detox’ or even ‘noob.’
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