Buzzwords and catchphrases tend to spread like wildfire across social media. Just ask anyone who calls their significant other “bae,” or saying that someone’s hair looks “on fleek.” Now, Facebook wants to identify cool terminology before it manages to catch on.
Business Insider reports that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says the company has patented software that will enable it to search for emerging terms and nicknames for storage within a “social glossary.”
Filed last month, this patent will take a closer look at posts and messages on Facebook that will seek out neologisms. This consists of new pieces of language that are used by people online, even if they don’t quite fit common terminology. Such words include “oversharer,” “digital detox” and “sick” (in a good way), according to Grammar Monster’s recent examples of neologisms.
The goal of the software is to catch on to these terms so that they’re ready for popularity, even though not all of them may reach the ubiquity of “bae.”
Facebook outlined the process, which starts with discovering new textual terms and ends with removing obsolete ones.
The process checks for terms that may or may not be already in use, seeking out “slang, terms of art, portmanteaus, syllabic abbreviations, abbreviations, acronyms, names, nicknames, re-purposed words or phrases, or any other type of coined word or phrase.” If popular enough, they become added to the glossary.
Facebook hasn’t revealed how the the social glossary will be used, but it could include words from the glossary as choices for conversation in traditional posts or with its Messenger app.