L8ly there has been a lot of worry over the millions of texts being sent every day that ignore punctuation and capitalization, replace letters with numbers, and use LOL way too much. OMG, R txts KILLING THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE?
Linguist John McWhorter has a different take on texting, and it’s good news. He says that texting resembles spoken language much more than written language.
Think about it, you don’t think about capitalization and punctuation while talking right? But texting doesn’t just loosen sentence structure, it brings in its own layers of complexity.
For example: LOL has evolved a more subtle meaning than ‘laughing out loud,’ like in the following context:
Susan: lol thanks gmail is being slow right now
Julie: lol, i know.
Susan: i just sent you an email.
Julie: lol, i see it.
Nothing said above is funny right? Here ‘LOL’ is being used to mark the speaker’s feelings of understanding and empathy.
We’re beginning to write like we speak largely because we finally have the technology — mobile phones — to keep up with the pace of real-time speech. Imagine trying to carry on a conversation with someone using typewriters!
Texting is a whole new way of writing that young people are using alongside their ordinary writing skills. In other words it’s not the decline of the English language, but a new ‘fingered speech‘ that’s being constantly evolved, mainly by 16 year old girls!