n. A form of English peculiar to some online documents and communication, the characteristics of which include the use of all-lowercase letters, infrequent punctuation, errors in spelling and grammar, and an informal tone.
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Just as the government is spending about Pounds 200m on a programme to reimpose the traditional rigour of literacy and numeracy, it also faces one of the greatest technological challenges to English. The internet and e-mail have already spawned their own words and grammar which has been dubbed 'weblish'.
—Richard Woods, “Illiterate Britain!?,” Sunday Times, May 13, 2001
2000 (earliest)
The popularity of e-mail is destroying the normal rules of spelling and grammar leading to 'weblish', a lower case global language littered with mistakes, according to marketing consultancy The Fourth Room.
—“The rise of the Digitally Literate,” The Daily Telegraph, August 24, 2000
This word is one of many that have been coined to describe the strange linguistic beast that is the English language, Internet version. By far the most popular is Netspeak, but this word has gained some currency (both as weblish and Weblish), despite its rather ugly construction.
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