Critique of David Crystal Texting

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David Crystal is the foremost writer and lecturer on the English language, with a worldwide reputation and over 100 books to his name. on July 15,2008, Crystal wrote an article headed “2B or not 2B” criticizing another article by John Humphrys named “I h8 txt msgs: How texting is wrecking our language.” In Crystal’s article he argues for the benefits of text messaging. He starts out by quoting John Humphrys who wrote that people that text are “vandals who are doing to our language what Genghis Khan did to his neighbors 800 years ago. They are destroying it: pillaging our punctuation; savaging our sentences; raping our vocabulary. And they must be stopped.” However, Crystal adds that texting isn’t the only thing in history that was said to be associated with the devil. He goes on to write, “People have been arguing that new technology would have disastrous consequences for language. Scares accompanied the introduction of telegraph, telephone, and broadcasting.” He goes on to question whether there has been another “linguistic phenomenon that has aroused such curiosity, suspicion, fear, and confusion…all at once.” How could something like texting, which a few years ago nobody heard about, cause such fascination and quarrel? What I really liked about Crystal’s article was that he understood that texting has brought a whole new way of communication to the world. Crystal explains that even though texters use abbreviations throughout their messages, they make it clear enough so that the receiver can understand the message. He writes “There is no point in paying to send a message if it breaks so many rules that it ceases to be intelligible.” Crystal also illustrates that he recognizes when texters send longer messages they tend to write in a more standard orthography. “When messages are longer, containing more information, the amount of standard orthography increases.” Some people that text message don’t even use abbreviations but stick to a more formal style of...
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