Texting and Changes in Language
I was watching the Noon News Hour today (February 9th, 2014) and there was a story (sorry no link) about a study by two Arizona State Professors about how texting is changing the development of the English language. In short they are saying the Millennial generation modifies English while texting. Millennials have developed a modern more simplistic ‘shorthand’ in order to speed up the texting process.
While researching this topic on the internet, I found this TED Talk by John McWhorter titled “Texting is Killing Language – JK!”
Mr. McWhorter views texting as an evolution of social/cultural communication and conversation, not as a replacement for formal written language. He cites examples of changes in language over the years and how the English language has become less formal over the years.
I have to admit I disagree with Mr. McWhorter to the extent that I notice my native speaking people using ‘text-language’ in emails and in some formal corressponsdance. I have taught my 18 year-old that this is not acceptable; moreover, I have imparted to her that using proper grammar is an important aspect of presenting ourselves to others.
I remember the first time I encountered a ‘text-speak’ text from a rugby coach. I found that reading the message diminished by impression of him. Until the text, I admired his intellect. After the text, I was surprized that someone my age did not have even rudimentary grammar skills.
Here is a link discussing how an SFU Professor believes texting is contributing to poor grammar skills:
However, some educators believe that texting my make people more creative. Here is a link from another SFU Professor who believes texting promotes creativity: