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Texting: The Destroyer Of English Grammar

881 words - 4 pages

A topic that has been raved about in recent years is how texting is affecting the English language, or particularly how texting is killing the English language. Just like any other argument, there are two perspectives to this story, we’ll divide these perspectives into two different categories: linguistic and non-linguistic. The non-linguistic view of the effects of texting is relatively negative. Some say that texting is creating a very lazy generation, others say that it will eventually take over what we now know as grammatically correct, even infamous broadcaster John Humphrys believes that texting is “pillaging our punctuation, savaging our sentences; raping our vocabulary. And they ...view middle of the document...

The language of most recent technology such as texting, Tweeting, Facebooking and the like, is actually a language that most closely represents our spoken language. In written language we are limited by rules; grammar rules. But in spoken language, people don’t speak in full sentences, people speak in fragments with exaggerations, implications, sarcasm and intonation; expressions that written rules significantly limit. This “fingered speech,” as John McWhorter calls it, provides us a way to write the way we actually speech. Texting allows us to be playful and creative with language in ways we have never been able to do before.
In every generation, since the dawn of time, there has been some form of “slang” and it has never changed the notion of what is “correct” grammar. David Crystal, journalist for The Guardian, and author of “2b or not 2b?” says that “although many texters enjoy breaking linguistic rules, they also know that they need to be understood.” This “fingered speech” encourages people to learn to code-switch, and most do. Most people know not to use this text language with the outside world, they know not to use it with people of authority or profession, and they know not to use it in academic settings. In fact, John McWhorter states that there is increasing evidence that being bilingual is cognitively beneficial, this is also true for being bi-dialectal, and certainly true in being bi-dialectal in writing as well. The language is not degrading because of this “tech dialect”, but rather improving the way people communicate to each other in every setting.
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