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The Gr8 Deb8 On Txting: What Are We Doing To The English Language?

The Gr8 Deb8 On Txting:


Since the first text message was sent in December of 1992 by 22-year-old British engineer Neil Papworth from his work computer to an Orbitel 901 handset, more and more textisms have been emerging to shorten the already brief form of communication. BTW, that first text was “Happy Christmas.” Not only are people now using “text speak” in everyday life (see previous sentence), but incessant texting is now affecting the way we write on a regular basis. Teachers from all over the globe have noticed a dramatic drop of consonants, vowels, and punctuation in the classroom. Without using formal writing and reading skills regularly, it could stand to reason that our general english skills are slipping from their already slippery slope.


Oxford Makes It Legit:
To most youngins, it is not the death of an existing language but the birth of a new one. As people who prides themselves on the proper use of their, there and they’re, we find it a bit drastic that The Oxford English Dictionary has found textisms important enough to add some to this years list of new words in the English language. To the dismay of linguists, these are a few terms that have been added:
LOL- Laugh out loud

OMG- Oh my god

FYI- For your information

TMI- Too much information

WAG- Wives and girlfriends

IMHO- In my humble opinion

BFF- Best friends forever

♥- Thats ♥, not <3 (note: this is being declared a verb meaning “to love” or “to heart”; ie- I ♥ NY)


What Grinds Our Gears:
You know what really grinds my gears about all this? LOL isn’t even used properly! It’s a new word in an evolving language whose creators (all of us) aren’t even using in the proper form that it was originally intended. Well, that intentional grammatical abomination escalated quickly! Seriously, how many times has this happened:

Jane: “Where r u??”

John: “At the library lol”

Let’s break this down… There is nothing funny about being at the library. Unless John is blind and the library he is at recently got rid of all their braille texts and he is using “LOL” sarcastically, there is literally nothing amusing about any of that. So why then? LOL is no longer used literally as once intended. It is now used as a way to create empathy between texters, ease tension, and create a sense of equality. Is the emotional distance and coldness of texting too much for us? Apparently so if we need to warm it up with an “LOL.” The fancy term for this anomaly is “paralinguistic restitution.” It’s an adaptation for the loss of emotional features that you get in face-to-face communication. We also see this in capitalization (YES) and excessive punctuation (what??!!!).


Brass Tacks:
According to one study, people who text often are less likely to accept new words than people who read traditional print media. This is likely because there is a certain amount of variety and creativity found that cannot be found in ordinary peer-to-peer texting. Furthermore, dialects and sayings vary across the country, so what may be normal to say in Mississippi may not be in New York. This is due to exposure of the dialects and sayings, and texting is no different. The less or more we use certain words and phrases in texting will eventually determine how familiar are minds are with it. It seems absurd to think, but most scientific minds say that texting will naturally grow into another form of english.


Everything is subject to evolution, and this includes language. Had English not evolved, we would be speaking in Shakespearian form. Language will change with time and will grow in each generation. Whether the effects are good or bad may just be up to the individual to judge. Some critics call texting “penmanship for illiterates.” While some people think that texting is simply meant to be casual and completely separate from how one would speak or write. Regardless, text-speak is here to stay…just ask the folks over at Oxford.