Textisms And Literacy Essay

1320 words - 5 pages

Texting: Textisms and Effects
Texting is one of the fastest growing containers of communication. According to Cellular Online, in only the first three months of 2004, 135 billion text messages were sent. The proof is in the numbers alone. With the explosion of texting, society is forced to keep up with the massive amount of changes in communication. Not only is texting affecting children's knowledge, but also texting brought the development of virtually a new language, textisms. Textisms are the intentional misspelling of words, any use of a shortened word, or acronyms in text messages. Textisms significantly differ from standard English language. Some researchers believe that textisms are detrimental, but other researchers disagree and believe textisms can be beneficial. In the academic journal UKLA, Beverly Plester, Clare Wood, and Victoria Bell explore the issues of texting abbreviations affecting children in the study “Txt msg n school literacy: does texting and knowledge of text abbreviations adversely affect children's literacy attainment?” Joe Huber also identifies with the idea of textism's effects in the article “Texting As Language: Evolution or Regression?” Textisms are a newly controversial issue that have peaked the interest of countless scholars and lead to a number of studies and articles.
Joe Huber addressed the issue of textisms in the article “Texting As Language: Evolution or Regression?” Huber makes a new claim that the use of textisms is not a new concept. Researcher has led many people to believe textisms can affect literacy negatively, but Huber
references 3400 BCE and the 1890s. In 3400 BCE, the Summerians used a type of writing called cuneiform. This style of writing was heavily based on pictures, and it attempted to convey ideas in the shortest form possible but maximize understanding (Huber). In essence, the Sumerian's language was serving the same purpose as the use of textisms. Not only did the Summerians have the same idea of textisms, but telegraph operators too adopted the idea of textisms. In 1890, the main form of communication was the telegraph, and telegraph users communicated in the shortest way possible. When sending messages like “good morning” or “good night,” the telegraph operators shortened the message to g.n. or g.m. (Huber). The actual definition of textisms includes any use of a shortened word or acronyms, and both the Summerians and telegraph operators used textisms long before cell phones and texting were even an idea. A form of textisms has been around for thousands of years, and only recently people are opposing the idea and finding so many reasons that textisms are a factor of a regressing society. Society has always had a forms of textisms, but textisms have newly integrated into society's daily lives. Even the Oxford English Dictionary has accomodated to the new language. In March 2011, the dictionary's update included the textisms OMG and LOL (Huber). Textisms have secured their spot...

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