Summary and Response of "2b or Not 2b"

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  • Topic: Abbreviation, Text messaging, Acronym and initialism
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Zhang 1
Hao Zhang
Professor Warmbold
English 120, Section 06
24 March 2013
In the article “2b or not 2b”, David Crystal begins with discussing how others such as John Humphry argued that texters are “vandals who are doing to our language what Genghis Khan did to his neighbors 800 years ago. They are destroying it” (335). This is also the common belief of most people. People often argue about the bad points of technology over our language. However, Crystal believes that texting can improve children’s ability to read and write rather than hinder their literacy as many people claim. He also argues that not all texting are done in abbreviated words. Complex messages and institutional messages are often texted in standard form of orthography. In his conclusion, Crystal states that, “There is no disaster pending. We will not see a new generation of adults growing up unable to write proper English. The language as a whole will not decline” (345), which means he is generally optimistic about texting. As for me, I support the point of Crystal that texting is not a disaster, it is the evolution of language. In the article, Crystal believes that the percentage of abbreviated words people use when they text is negligible compared to the total number of texted words people send. And according to his own text collection, the percentage of abbreviated words he uses to text is only 10%. That shows the long-term impact of texting is tiny and it is not a disaster. Also, he gives some examples of how people use texting to create new ways to write poetry and Zhang 2 stories in short form. However, I don’t think texting can improve children’s literacy. In the article, Crystal cites latest studies from a team at Coventry University which have indicated that the more abbreviations in children’s messages, the higher they scored on tests of reading and vocabulary. And he agrees. Actually, Crystal makes one...
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