Texting: A Boon, Not a Threat, to Language Kristina Mialki Certain technological

Texting: A Boon, Not a Threat, to Language
Kristina Mialki
Certain technological developments of the last two decades have a lot of people worrying about the state of the English language. Emailing, blogging, instant-messaging, tweeting, and texting are introducing new ways of writing and communicating, and the fear is that these technologies will encourage a sloppy, casual form of written English that will eventually replace “proper” English altogether. Texting, in particular, has people concerned because it encourages the use of a specialized, nonstandard form of English. However, the effects of this new “textese” are misunderstood. Texting is not destroying the English language; in fact, it is keeping the language alive.
Texting has become extremely popular because sending text messages is instant, mobile, and silent. To make texting more efficient, texters have developed a shorthand – an abbreviated form of English that uses numbers and symbols in addition to letters. In textese, common phrases such as “see you later” or “talk to you later” become “cul8r” and “ttyl.” Feelings and phrases are also expressed with emoticons, such as “:-o” (meaning “alarmed”) or “>:-

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