Thursday, November 17, 2005

Literature txts and deranged algebra

Dot mobile's PR department will be very chuffed with themselves this morning. Several papers have picked up on their story (in the loosest sense of the word) about sending plot summaries to students' mobile phones in text speak. So, according to The Independent, Pride and Prejudice becomes:
5SistrsWntngHsbnds.NwMenInTwn-Bingly&Darcy Fit&Loadd.
BigSisJaneFals4B,2ndSisLizH8sDCozHesProud. SlimySoljrWikamSysDHsShadyPast.
TrnsOutHesActulyARlyNysGuy&RlyFancysLiz. SheDecydsSheLyksHim. Evry1GtsMaryd.

Fantastic news! But do stories like this actually throw any light on the way language changes or are they just silly gimics to market new products to us, the gullible public? Getting John Sutherland on board (a man whose article on texting was used in an ENA6 paper a couple of years ago, AQA factspotters!) lends the project a dubious form of linguistic credibility, but perhaps the whole silly focus on the reductive nature of this type of exercise devalues the more serious points about how technology changes the ways we communicate with one another.

Guardian story
Daily Mail

Useful for:
ENA5 - Language Change
ENA6 - Language Debates

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