The hazardous effects of text messaging

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By Corinne Love

By Corinne Love


f U cn rED DIS U R textspeak literate. f U cn not rED DIS, dun panic d wAv of txt spkN hz yt 2 hit U.


The above statement is sure to make English instructors break into an uncontrolled frenzy.

“Text Speak,” or txt spk for the savvy, has infiltrated the screens of cellular phones, LCD computer screens and even some college papers.

Sociologists and social commentators question whether or not text speaking will destroy the English language or if it will create a new linguistic style all of its own.

A 13-year-old girl from Manhattan won $25,000 for being able to convert “supercalifragilisticexpalidocious” into text speak, and it took her only 15 seconds.

Undoubtedly, Gen Y fits in perfectly with text speak and it’s almost nonsensical adaptations. For instance the contraction “Don’t” simply becomes “dun” which I thought at first glance was short-for dunce.

“Excellent” becomes “XLnt” which almost looks like it means extra large.

I think that would work well for pizza companies. Imagine that, Pizza Hut brandishing a new campaign called “Xtreme XLnt” pizza!

With pop culture becoming quicker by the second, it only makes somewhat sense that language too has to be digested easier and quicker as well.

Think about it, the lengthy conversations you’ve had with your friends over the phone are hardly possible with text messaging.

It’s a product of evolution, supposedly, but text speak can somewhat make us lazier and perpetuate the trend of being “dumbed down.”

Articles found on text messaging all seem to draw to the conclusion, that shortening words makes them lose their effect and also causes users to limit their vocabulary.

If students can only discern between words such as “kewl,” “iz” (why would anyone change “is” to “iz” is beyond the realm of logic, lyk omg) and therefore we can make simple words practically simple to the point of absurdity. in April 2007 reported of an Irish study that found text messaging to have a negative effect on language in general.

The report suggested that the usage of text messaging threatened language conventions.

Such as proper grammar, spelling, and rhetoric all elements that comprise many college papers and academic writing in general.

Scholars are worried, critics are buzzing, and yet, it seems as if “text speak” will not entirely force the English language into the dusty caves of libraries with actual books.

Text messaging is another product of technology and like most products of technology, we have to adapt to it.

But OMG wrtng lyk diz cn b srta annyng, dun u thnk?

It may save money and space, but in the long run it won’t save you the headache.

*Be sure to participate in our Viewpoints Poll question on Txt Speak*

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