Txtng nt bd 4 U

The abbreviations and variant spellings found in text messages are not detrimental to your language, according to this article. In fact kids who send the most text messages tend to be more literate better at spelling than others.

David Crystal, an independent language consultant, author and honorary professor of linguistics at Bangor University, and has done some research into text messaging and has discovered that most of the things people believe about them are wrong. It’s not kids who send the most messages, but adults and businesses who send 80% of them. He comments that:

“If you can’t spell a word, then you don’t really know whether it’s cool to misspell it. Kids have a very precise idea of context – none of those I have spoken to would dream of using text abbreviations in their exams – they know they would be marked down for it.”

What many fear are the ways new technologies will change language. This was true for printing, which some was a devil-inspired machine that would be used to print unauthorised versions of the bible. Some believed that the telephone would lead to the breakdown of family life as people would stop speaking to one another directly, while radio and television stirred worries about brain-washing. Each generation is also concerned about the next generation taking over ‘their’ language and changing it for the worse. Such concerns are not a recent phenomenon and people have been complaining about the way the kids are ruining the language for millenia.

This entry was posted in English, Language.

0 Responses to Txtng nt bd 4 U

  1. I agree. It’s well known that people can switch modes when speaking a language. For example, one can speak informal language to one’s family but speak a more formal version when at work. I don’t see why people wouldn’t also do the same when writing (or texting) language. You can “speak” an informal version when texting but still “speak” properly when required to in formal situations (like taking an exam).


  2. Heather says:

    Exactly…the same applies to dialects. My cousin freely uses a thick version of the Birmingham dialect with her friends, but whenever she goes to see her other, linguistically prescriptive cousin, she puts a cap on all local expressions. This shows that she obviously knows when and where to use the standard. If only people would just see text speech in the same light.

  3. Peter J. Franke says:

    In this context it might be interesting to attend you to a recent publication of Prof. Dr. Joop van der Horst: “Het Einde van de Standaardtaal”. In English: “The End of Standarized Language”. At this moment I do not know if this book is already translated. But if so, I’ll let you know.

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