We set out to uncover the unique grammatical properties of an important yet so far under-researched type of natural language text: that of short labels typically found within structured datasets. We show that such labels obey a specific type of abbreviated grammar that we call the Language of Data, with properties significantly different from the kinds of text typically addressed in computational linguistics and NLP, such as ‘standard’ written language or social media messages. We analyse orthography, parts of speech, and syntax over a large, bilingual, hand-annotated corpus of data labels collected from a variety of domains. We perform experiments on tokenisation, part-of-speech tagging, and named entity recognition over real-world structured data, demonstrating that models adapted to the Language of Data outperform those trained on standard text. These observations point in a new direction to be explored as future research, in order to develop new NLP tools and models dedicated to the Language of Data.