#Hashtag; UK Children’s word of the year

Published on 01 Jun 2015
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# Hashtag

Use of technology is a way of life with today’s children. They communicate, connect and collaborate through gadgets and gizmos. Even schools today, are Wi-Fi connected and use online content, interactive boards and tabs for enhancing classroom learning.

Social media being a trendsetter across the globe has had the biggest influence on young minds and is continuously gaining control over thoughts and expressions, both at an individual level and also at a group level, thus setting a precursor for Hashtag to enter into mainstream communication.

It is an interesting shift that one observes as ‘#’, which was a less used key in the computer is now finding way in literature. Hashtag was used as a means of organizing conversation, sorting out words, and slowly gained popularity as a word linked to social media. A child might write: ‘this is a wonderful day, #sunny,’ for example, or: ‘I have the best family, #fantastic family.’

An annual analysis of Radio 2’s 500 Words short story competition in UK reveals the huge increase in the creative use of the word among the under-13s, with hashtag moving from being a Twitter search term to a device for adding comment and emphasis in stories. Oxford University Press analysed 120,421 entries to the competition to unearth insights into the lives of British children and the ways they use English. Hashtag is not so much a pre-fix or a suffix but is used to add drama, heighten an emotion or affirm a feeling as an important area of communication.

The Oxford University Press has declared ‘#Hashtag’ as the ‘Children’s Word of the Year’.

Storytelling remains a hugely important part of child’s life and we as parents should do whatever we can to help them enjoy the worlds they create on paper.

#world of words, for my child!

Ms. Vaishali Borde

Ms. Vaishali Borde, National Academic Head - Co-scholastics, GIIS India

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