CHARACTERISTICS OF THE FORMATION OF INTERNET ENGLISH NEOLOGISMS AND THEIR DEVELOPING TENDENCY
This paper first describes the development of neologism and gives a definition to it. Then, it explores the background and the reasons of the appearance of Internet English neologisms. Next, it genelizes the characteristics of the Internet English neologisms from two perspectives of meaning and formation. In the fifth part of this paper, it illustrates seven common ways of formation of these neologisms combined with examples, i.e., compounding, affixation, clipping, acronymy, blending, by adding new meanings to existing words, coinage. The sixth part introduces a new special form of neologism: emoticon, which are discussed from three aspects, i.e., definition, classification and formation. Finally, it anticipates three development tendency of the Internet English neologisms.
Keywords：Internet English neologisms; characteristic; formation;
1. Introduction 1
2. The development of neologism and its definition 2
3. The reasons for the appearance of the Internet English neologism 4
4. The characteristics of Internet English neologisms 5
4.1 Semantic features 5
4.1.1 Terse and Clear 5
4.1.2 Vivid and proper 6
4.1.3 Popular 6
4.2 Formation features 7
4.2.1 Easy to remember and type 7
4.2.2 Utilizing the symbols on the keyboard 7
5. Ways of the formation of Internet English neologisms 8
5.1 Compounding 8
5.2 Affixation 8
5.2.1 Prefixation 9
5.2.2 Suffixation 9
5.3 Clipping 9
5.4 Acronymy 10
5.4.1 Initialism 10
5.4.2 Acronymy 11
5.5 Blending 11
5.6 Adding new meanings to existing words 12
5.7 Coinage 12
6. Emoticon—a special Internet English neologism 14
6.1 The definition of emoticon 14
6.2 Classification of Emoticon 14
6.3 The formation of emoticon 16
7. The development tendency of the Internet English Neologisms 17
7.1 Internet English neologisms coming into daily usage 17
7.2 Irregular usage in the passage written by Internet English neologisms 17
7.3 A large number of neologisms springing up at a rapid speed 18
8. Conclusion 20
All living language in the world, including the English language is constantly changing. The change that is constantly going on in a living language can be seen in the vocabulary, that is, in neologisms 129. After World WarⅡ, neologisms emerged in an endless stream. Each day in the English language new words are born at a speed of many thousands.
In the recent 20 years, because of the rapid development of computer technology, together with the popularization of the network, Internet has already become the media that has been most widely used. Because of the comprehensive and numerous information resources, Internet has attracted the attention of the world, and as a result leads to the emergence of network neologisms, especially plenty of Internet English neologisms. Neologisms appear in such a large number and at so fast a speed that there is no such a dictionary that is possible to include all of these new entries in time. It is necessary for us to analyze the formation and their characteristics of these countless Internet English neologisms, which can not only help to acquire knowledge and broaden our horizon, but also contribute to the study and teaching of the English language 85. With the development of Internet technology, Internet English has already merged into people’s daily life. On the basis of the linguistic theory of lexicology, this paper deals with the characteristics of Internet English neologisms by analyzing their formation and it also anticipates the development tendency of them.
2. The development of neologism and its definition
The term ‘neologism’ originates from Greek: neos means ‘new’, and logos means ‘word’, and is in itself something of a neologism. 12 Now, neologism is commonly called new word.
Allan Metcall, a professor of English published his book Predicting New Words: the Secrets of their Success in 2002 in the United States, wrote that “new words have been appearing in our language regularly for over a thousand years, but most of them vanish in short order. Especially doomed to obscurity are deliberate coinages, the words people invent to address a perceived need or to make a witty addition to our lexicon¬… Similarly, each day in the English language at least as many thousands of new words are born. Yet after a year’s time, only a few hundreds of these will remain as serious candidates for the dictionary and a place in our permanent vocabulary.”  1-2 There are three types of words in terms of their appearance and disappearance: old words, new words, and existing words. In the course of time old words die out, new words are added and existing words change their meanings. So the vocabulary of language is in a state of almost continuous change.
The rate of vocabulary changes varies according to the different periods. In the fourteenth century large numbers of French words were introduced into the English language. In the sixteenth century large numbers of new words were borrowed from Latin. In the nineteenth century the vocabulary of science and technology had greatly expanded. Today the vocabulary in the English language is still expanded at a rapid speed.
In general, there are two main sources of new words in the English vocabulary. Modern science and technology, which is the most important source of new words, brings about the addition of countless new words. Political, economical and social changes are other important sources of new words. Their influence on the English vocabulary is as great as that of science and technology.
So, what is neologism? What kind of word can be defined as “neologism”? Actually, the researchers on these questions are being heatedly pursued, yet no general argument has been reached. Researchers with different knowledge backgrounds may define neologism in different ways.
The Oxford Dictionary of New Words gives the definition of ‘neologism’, which is “a new word is any word, phrase, or sense that come into popular use or enjoyed a vogue in the given period.”  The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (4th College Edition) gives its definition like this: “1. A new word, expression, or usage. 2. The creation or use of new words or senses. 3. Psychology a. The invention of new words regarded as a symptom of certain psychotic disorders, such as schizophrenia. b. A word so invented. 4. Theology A new doctrine or a new interpretation of scripture.”  In Oxford Advanced Learner’s English-Chinese Dictionary, “Neologism” is defined as “newly-invented word” , and in Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, “a new word or expression, or a new meaning for an older word” .