Confounded by textspeak


Is text messaging ruining the English Language? Debatable, as we shall see.  But is text messaging changing English?   U bttr beleve it.


Since today, October 13,  is English Language Day, it’s a good time to debate the issue.  So, can you understand the following?

   "IYO txtng = NME or NBD?"

Translation: "In your opinion, is text messaging the enemy, or no big deal?"

As more and more students immerse themselves in Textspeak over their cell phones and computers, educators worry that their writing skills are suffering. After all, the short-message format routinely sacrifices grammar, syntax, and punctuation for the sake of slang and brevity.

I’m probably showing my age, but I think that students who frequently express themselves in abbreviations and smiley faces may lose the capacity for more nuanced, grammatically correct writing. But some educators see little evidence that the language of texting is having a negative impact on students’ schoolwork. In fact, some are even glad that students are communicating so frequently through writing and are creating their own language, albeit one with a nontraditional vocabulary.

Is the prevalence of text messaging something to worry about? WDUT?

2 thoughts on “Confounded by textspeak

  1. WDUT? “…routinely sacrifices grammar, syntax, and punctuation”. Sounds like a normal edition of the SDN to me.

  2. It is DEFINITELY ruining the English language–or at least it is NOT the English language. Language is there for people to communicate. Text-y language is not English, and since I do not understand it, I cannot communicate using it. When I text, I type out sentences, with capital letters and punctuation. It’s actually faster for me, since that’s the way my mind thinks.

    The problem is that many people who text frequently do not realize that they are not communicating with people who do not understand their language. If you wrote your English Literature paper in French, you would probably get an F. If you write it in Text (and I was your teacher), you would also get an F. Occasionally I receive an email with no punctuation or capital letters. It is very difficult to understand, and as I’m reading it through for the third time I suddenly realize that this person DOES NOT CARE about me, nor about whether or not I can understand what they are saying. And I simply delete it without trying to figure it out. These people have lost the ability to communicate in my language, English.

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