On the Phenomenon of “Terminological Noise” in the Language of Modern Mass Media

2023. № 6, 24-37

Elizaveta S. Gromenko, Institute for Linguistic Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences
(Russia, Saint Petersburg), el.gromenko@gmail.com


The article describes some features of the media terminologization in the 21st century.
The material for the study was about 1000 new terminological units found in the media sources, the fi rst written recording of which dates back to 2000–2020.

The analysis of of new terminological vocabulary in the media of the 21st century showed that the process of terminologization of Russian speech is accompanied by the process of “false” terminologization of modern media, which arises as a result of the wide-spread phenomenon of the “terminological noise”. Terminological noise is defi ned as the background, stylistic fi lling of the media space with special lexis without its further adoption by common language, which consists of at least two trends: (1) using false terminological vocabulary in text and (2) sporadic manifestation of terms in the media and/or their shortterm actualization.
First, when studying new special lexis that is functioning in the media, we identifi ed a group of lexis that is perceived as words of special discourse, but functioning exclusively in media discourse — journalistic quasi-terms (quasi... “false, imaginary”), for example, CAR-инженерия (CAR engineering), дамплинг-ион (dumping ion), нейропоэт (neuropoet). Another group of words we identifi ed can be described as terminological newspaperisms, for example, ДНК-детектив (DNA detective), CRISPR-эпопея (CRISPR epic), биткоин-лихорадка (bitcoin fever), биткоин-мания (bitcoin-mania), ИИ-пузырь (AI bubble).
The second feature we discovered was the fact that media and professional terms and words are used sporadically in media texts, sometimes with high frequency of use over a short period. Thus, based on the collected sample, presumably only about 4–5% of cases are recognized by common language and become the words that “update” the vocabulary of the literary language. These are terms such as графен (graphene), коронавирус (coronavirus), экзопланета (exoplanet), etc. 95% of the sample are cases of terminological noise — journalistic quasi-terms, terminological newspaperisms, terms with a fl ickering frequency. The examples of these include: AI-замок (AI-lock), bitcoin-инвестор (bitcoin-investor), CAR-инженерия (CAR-engineering), CRISPR-каскады (CRISPR-cascades), digital-экономика (digital-economy), smart-бизнес (smartbusiness), большой отскок (big rebound), вселесная паутина (omniforestal web), генеративное творчество (generative creativity), ГМ-дрожжи (GM yeast), ИИ-советник (AI-advisor), когнитивное платье (cognitive dress), криспы (crisps), роборыбак (robofi sher).

For citation:

Gromenko E. S. On the Phenomenon of “Terminological Noise” in the
Language of Modern Mass Media. Russian Speech = Russkaya Rech’. 2023. No. 6.
Pp. 24–37. 10.31857/S013161170029351-5.