Thursday, January 29, 2009

The evils of txt

The truth? Even though the increasing popularity of text-messaging since 2001 has spawned frequent, doomy pronouncements about illiterate teens, desecrated language, overused abbreviations, and crumbling civilization, there’s no evidence at all to back up these the-end-is-near-ish views about texting. When you look at the facts, they often say something positive about texting: that frequent texters actually do better in school, or that texting is associated with good things like creativity and political activism. Also, some of the supposedly text-specific features—like abbreviations—are older than dirt and not even that common in texting.


So says Mark Peters in this descriptivist post on the good blog. We've been looking at technology and language change in recent lessons and text messaging is very much part of this. What's quite amusing is that the USA media has only just started having discussions about the impact of texting as it's only just become a major phenomenon over there.

So, while some teenagers in south London feebly mimic the styles of 2005 US rap with rubbish New Era caps and outdated gangsta poses, finally Britain can fight back and loudly proclaim "Our language was ruined by texting first!".

Or not...because as their interview with the mighty David Crystal points out, many of the myths about texting destroying the English language are just a load of cobblers, as we have pointed out on this blog many a time.

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