Explore the Varieties of and Attitudes to Texting

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Explore the varieties of and attitudes to texting

With technology rife in today’s society are the boundaries between spoken and written language becoming ever nearer? It seems that young children, teenagers, adults and even the elderly are all turning to mobile devices as an aid of communication. The frequent use of texting has brought about new features, such as clipping, that are unique to the texting world, this is thought to be putting a strain on our abilities to use correct Standard English. In this essay I will explore the variety of language and text specific features used within text messaging. I will also analyse the various attitudes towards texting and finally give my own opinion.

The 1900’s was the beginning of the texting era. Brevity played a massive role at this time as it was incredibly important to fit everything into one text; this was because to send a text was fairly expensive back then. The more information that could be crammed into a 160 character text the more money would be saved in doing so; this was how the unique texting language was created. As texting developed people soon became familiar with ‘abbreviating’ words to save characters, for instance ‘FYI’ means ‘for your information’ and ‘BRB’ means ‘be right back.’ Brevity is not as important anymore; with mobile phone contracts sending a text is much cheaper, however a lot of people still choose to shorten their text messages.

So many people text nowadays and it’s become an important part in our lives, allowing us to contact anyone at any time. However some people, such as John Humphreys (a descriptivist), believe that it is demolishing our English language. Humphreys recently wrote an article called ‘I h8 txt msgs: How texting is wrecking our language’ in which he states his strong views against texting. He firstly mentions how the ‘OED is at risk’ with over 16,000 words being changed to meet the demands of text talk, which in his eyes is ‘absurd little smiley...
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