What is Text Speak?
LOL, dnt u knw wht txt spk iz?
The above set of letters strung together, definitely leads you to the definition of ‘Text Speak’. Urban Dictionary describes it as “the process of shortening words and adding numbers to a text message, to make it “cooler”. This form of text messaging is highly annoying and can also be used to sell “trendy” products like 50cc scooters and mobile phones. Often involves leaving out all vowels.”
Please refer to the following examples just to make sure that you are clear on the concept of Text Speak. Remember #IndianEducationSystemSwag? Well yes, repetition is a part of life now.
1) Txtspk is sooooo cool
2) -RU cmin out 2nite?
-Yeah luv 2 m8, wot time?
-bout 8ish. mt u in twn
-gr8. cu then
3) Only 13 year olds use textspeak
Text Speak – Voice of judgmental people
1999 – “She can use the ‘sms’ language, she must be very modern!”
2009- “Oh my God, she does not type in full, does she even know English?”
With a decade’s gap Text Speak was judged from being ‘cool’ to ‘uncool’.
I am sorry I would not be able to give you further inputs on the previous decade because at that time I was ‘nappy mein hi happy’ and my milk bottle kept me occupied.
But during the present day, Text Speak has been referred to as barbaric and has been accused of ruining the English language. It is now seen as a symbol of teenagers’ laziness, and it is also believed that it is probably the reason why children make grammatical and spelng errors. Oops, did I just make one too?
Text Speak – Voice of Researchers
Well contrary to the previous set of opinions is the set of opinions of the researchers of Coventry University in England. They assert that Text Speak is actually beneficial to the way that children interact with language.
After assessing primary and secondary school children annually for two years, they “found no evidence of a link between poor grammar when texting and the actual grammatical understanding of UK children.” What they found was that “children’s use of Text Speak is not only positively associated with word reading ability, but it may be contributing to reading development.”
Text Speak – A common ground
So is use of Text Speak acceptable or not? Or when is its use appropriate?
Well, who better than John McWhorter, an associate professor of English and comparative literature at Columbia University to answer the above question.
McWhorter argued that “this shorthand of sorts is a fair game when you’re communicating in a manner that channels the speed and flow of typical conversations.”
He advocates for Text Speak by believing that “it is not so much a bastardization of our beloved written language, but a language of its own.”
Here’s a short video on the TED talk he delivered in 2013, explaining how “the miraculous thing” is developing its own grammar and conventions and should be more closely identified as “fingered speech” than as writing.
Text Speak – Author’s views
When I text, I type in full. Being a very judgemental teenager, the first thing I notice when I text someone for the first time is how they type.
However, it is always to each his own. It does not really matter how you text, what really matters, and I am an ardent follower of it, is the mobile application you text on. Please try and use internet using apps, because ain’t no one replying to you on the text message app, bruh!
Haha, on a serious note, text messages are used for convenience and quick replies (late repliers please take a hint), so as long as you make me understand the purpose of your text you shall not be judged!
Lastly, when you are done reading this article, txt ur frnds abt it, bud!
Image courtesy- Google Images
Gif courtesy- giphy.com
Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.