Texting Messaging Changing the English Language?

18 11 2011

Text messaging.

In the world of text messaging, the above sentence is considered to be a full sentence. In the days that we live in now, I think that text messaging is changing our society. There are many factors that I feel have been changed in the English language, but I am only going to address five of them. They mostly have to do with grammar and writing, but it does relate to every day speaking.

1. New words – There have been a variety of new words that have been added to the current dictionary which originated from text messaging language. And some of these words aren’t even real words, they are more like abbreviations or acronyms. For example, WTF (what the fuck) and BRB (be right back) present great examples of this. There are now dictionaries dedicated to text messaging words and symbols. Click here for an example. Words like thanks, you, and be have been altered to thx, u, and b. There are rarely people who do not know of these  new words and abbreviations. So the vocabulary portion of the English language is being changed.

2. Spacing while writing – Now when people write or text they do not need to put as many spaces. Text messaging has been around so long that if you forget to put the space in between words there doesn’t need to be any explanation. Forgetting to put a space in between words is incorrect grammar, however, it is seen as a regular thing. If I writelikethis, isit veryhard tounderstand whatiam saying? See, I bet you had no trouble reading that sentence. That is because you also are so used to seeing words like this. To add to the above, putting two spaces instead one space after a period use to be how everyone was taught to write. But now hardly anyone is taught to do it like that, as you can see from my blog post so far I have one space after each period.

3. Loss of the hyphen – many words have been stripped of their hyphen and no longer possess them. According to this article nearly 16,000 words have been stripped of their hyphens. Although hyphens do not seem of much importance, it is still an altering of the English language. This is what Wikipedia has to say about hyphens – “the use of the hyphen in English compound nouns and verb has, in general, been steadily declining. Compounds that might once have been hyphenated are increasingly left with spaces or are combined into one word.” Wikipedia has more information about the hyphen and its use if you would like to do some research just hit this link

4. Brevity – Increasingly more and more, people do not explain themselves well enough; mostly this is the case while texting. I think this is the reason why so many people are texting so much. Since people don’t explain themselves so much, the person replying to the text has to  ask even more questions. Even if someone does know that they are being brief and unclear, still don’t bother to change that brevity. What this brevity does is it makes it so that sentences are incomplete and there are many fragments. Here is a funny book report about the novel “Hamlet” that I found hilarious – “Everyone dies.” Case in point.

5. Spelling/reading/writing – Text messaging has made kids such horrible spellers, readers, and writer. A New York Times study showed that while kids have been getting better’s scores in math they have not shown much progression when  it comes to reading scores. Could texting be to blame for this? We still do have kids winning spelling bees and getting into school such as Harvard or Yale. But do the results show that we are doing something right in math and something wrong in reading? I personally cannot say, however, I feel that texting at least encourages reading. This could be a possible positive side to text messaging.

So as you can see text messaging really does have an effect on the English language. There are many more things to consider when it comes to text messaging altering our current society’s language. Sometime in the future I might address these other effects of text messaging, but for now this is it.





2 responses

7 12 2011

I really do believe text messaging has changed our society for the worse. Not only are all of the problems you listed in this post true but we have also forgotten how to communicate face to face with people. In our textual conversations we forget how quickly you have to respond in a real life interaction. This frightens me for the future of our society. On multiple occasions I have also gotten text messages that I can hardly read because the person used so many abbreviations. I really try to use real words, punctuation, and grammar in my text messages. Why would I want to write something in “text” language when I have the capability to write it regularly?

7 12 2011

Yes I definately agree with you. I do abbreviate allot when I text and sometimes it even affects when I am typing. I feel like it will most likely change the future of our society for the worst, but I really hope it doesn’t.

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