The Evils of the Disintegration of the English Language as Brought About by Texting

March 27, 2009

Thx. G2G. LOL. ROTFL. OMG. Don't you hate texting lingo? Call me old-school, but I do. I can understand it (I knew every single one that I listed, for instance), but that doesn't mean that I have to agree with it. As they say, know your enemy.

What's wrong with abbreviating words to save time, some ask? It's more than abbreviating words to save time, in my opinion. It's slowly chipping away at the very foundations of the English language.

Besides, any one who has enough time to type out thousands of text messages a month--and "For a teenager to send thousands of text messages a month is not unusual," said John Johnson, a spokesman for Verizon Wireless (Washington Post)--could be spending their time more constructively, by volunteering at a soup kitchen or finishing homework.

For someone who doesn't even have a cell phone, I might seem a little too zealous about getting people to stop using text lingo. Why am I so fired up? It's all about writing. Teens are beginning to slip text lingo into their formal writing assignments. According to the USA Today, "two-thirds of teens admit in a survey that emoticons and other informal styles have crept in." Not only is this annoying to teachers, who have to decipher it, it's not conducive to their education. I was teaching a professional development session recently and a teacher who taught high school criminal justice mentioned that many of her students use texting lingo in their cases, which is worrying, not just because they're in school, but also because that's not something you can do in a court of law.

Some people say that text lingo is a shortcut. There are no shortcuts in life. Eventually, using text lingo will catch up with you and you'll have to take the long way home. But that's enough for now.

G2G.

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6 comments

  1. Anonymous5:56 PM

    yeah i agree with you - it's messing up our language

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous12:38 PM

    I personally disagree in part with you. I agree that it's horrible when people use texting lingo for school assignments, and it's annoying when people use words like "thanx" when "thanks" is only one letter longer.

    However, texting is mainly for communicating with others. It can build relationships and help keep in touch with friends and family. Some of the shortcuts used are really helpful when people are in a rush and don't have enough time to type out a message with perfect spelling and grammar.

    That's just my personal opinion on texting. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Rocobley (A social scientist)9:51 AM

    I think there is a problem with this argument actually, which is that it ignores how language evolves over time. Arguing against texting as a degeneration of the English language is a bit like someone complaining in the 17th century or whenever that people were starting using the term "you" instead of "thou". It seems likely that texting represents linguistic evolution rather than 'degeneration' - evolution brought on by technological change.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I am not very good about deciding things. I would say that although it's sometimes hard to decipher texting abbreviations, they do make life much faster. But then if you can't figure out what it means, then it would make life much slower.


    And, I know this has nothing to do with the post, but I like your name. Did you know it means 'Beloved one'?

    And, do you know what pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis means?

    ReplyDelete
  5. Adora,

    Could it be there is nothing new under the sun? Where so called evolution is no more than a cyclical return to former paradigms of expression. You need to look no further than your friendly neighborhood ancient Egyptian. It was this enlightened race of communicators who used hieroglyphics to communicate vast concepts with a single icon.

    Persecuted first century Christians would draw the icon of a fish in the dirt to safely identify themselves.

    Of course you may think hieroglyphics is passe' Well, why do you think a modern company like Nike would spends millions of dollars building up their hieroglyphic symbol like the famous Nike Swoosh. Does it not represent thousands of positive associations in a single icon?

    Was it not the genius of Einstein who reduced the complex and the profound to a most elegant and concise formula E=mc².

    Helpful abbreviations are all around us. The very software you used to write your perspective on abbreviations was written by programmers who used symbols like <*{ to replace thousands of characters of code.

    Abbreviations are like the people who use them they can be thoughtful or trite.


    Yours Truly,

    Allen
    (but you can call me Al)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Adora,

    Could it be there is nothing new under the sun? Where so called evolution is no more than a cyclical return to former paradigms of expression. You need to look no further than your friendly neighborhood ancient Egyptian. It was this enlightened race of communicators who used hieroglyphics to communicate vast concepts with a single icon.

    Persecuted first century Christians would draw the icon of a fish in the dirt to safely identify themselves.

    Of course you may think hieroglyphics is passe' Well, why do you think a modern company like Nike would spends millions of dollars building up their hieroglyphic symbol like the famous Nike Swoosh. Does it not represent thousands of positive associations in a single icon?

    Was it not the genius of Einstein who reduced the complex and the profound to a most elegant and concise formula E=mc².

    Helpful abbreviations are all around us. The very software you used to write your perspective on abbreviations was written by programmers who used symbols like <*{ to replace thousands of characters of code.

    Abbreviations are like the people who use them they can be thoughtful or trite.


    Yours Truly,

    Allen
    (but you can call me Al)

    ReplyDelete