What does it mean to speak in italics and how the trend on TikTok was born

What does it mean to speak in italics and how the trend on TikTok was born

Speaking in italics is a social media trend that is making itself known beyond web platforms. Launched by a young creator, it is a curious and detailed way of speaking in which the vowels are elongated and the sounds of the syllables do not always correspond to the classic ones of the Italian language. Thanks to the success achieved on TikTok, the cursive trend began to spread also on other social networks and even earned the first appearances on television to the tiktoker who introduced it. Here is a guide to the new trend, the origins of which can be traced back to some historical characters of the show business in Italy.

What is italics on TikTok Cörsivœ, this is how the name of the way of speaking that has become famous is transliterated on TikTok. It was the creator Elisa Esposito who brought the curious method of pronouncing words to the fore. The endings of the sentences are lengthened and the tones of the syllables change radically to obtain a high pitched and unusual tone of voice: this is the cörsivœ. The cursive teacher on TikTok, as the tiktoker calls herself and as she is now known by the community, has gained thousands of followers thanks to the trend. To date, Esposito has more than 700,000 fans on the platform owned by ByteDance and 27 million likes. As often happens, the virality reached on the web has also attracted interest from other media and recently Esposito was the protagonist of a sketch in the TV program Propaganda Live on La7.

TikTok content This content can also be viewed on the site it originates from.

Elisa Esposito's first italicized video dates back to a few weeks ago. At the beginning of June 2022, the creator released the clip titled “First lesson of cörsivœ” which went viral in a short time and today has 2 million views. In the previous videos, the young author already defines herself as a teacher, but it is not known if she really teaches in a school. She is probably a character invented for social media, who has found her consecration thanks to the nice way of talking about her. Esposito also has an Instagram profile with 230,000 fans and a page on the platform for explicit content OnlyFans.

Who came up with the idea? Whether Elisa Esposito was the first to speak in italics on TikTok is the subject of debate among the young users of the platform. According to some, it was also another creator, Chaimaa Cherbal, who kicked off the trend. But more likely the credit for the idea goes to another profile, that of @chiaramarita. But surely Esposito was able to create a character, characterized by a snobbish and exaggeratedly chic attitude, around the new way of speaking. The influencer had to explain in a video that in everyday life she doesn't express herself that way and she isn't as haughty as she might appear in her posts. “I speak like this only on TikTok and on social networks, just to joke. Around the street, when you say hello to me, it's not that I answer in italics, but I use a normal voice "she explained.

The path to fame of italics on TikTok is reminiscent of other trends related to ways of unusual talk. In the United States, the accent "Valley Girl", now the protagonist of millions of ironic videos on TikTok, refers to the prolonged and extravagant sounds of young rich California girls and has become fashionable since the 90s thanks to TV series and movies. However, it is not difficult to associate the cörsivœ with other sketches already seen in Italy on TV or on the radio. Actress Franca Valeri proposed the character of Signorina Snob in numerous programs of the 1950s; Paola Cortellesi has played the role of (fake) sophisticated women in many successful shows. The cursive prof on TikTok is just the latest evolution in this category of joking gags that target those who would do anything to stand out, even change the sound of their voice.

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