2b or Not 2b

Topics: Philippines, SMS, Text messaging Pages: 6 (925 words) Published: June 19, 2013
Robert Poynter

Professor Collum

English 1301-.0025


2b or not 2b an essay

In the article “2b or not 2b” David Crystal starts out discussing how others such as John
Sutherland said that texting is destroying the English language. And Sutherland had

created names for the new language of texting like “textese”, “slanguage” and that texting

is a digital virus. David Crystal also made the comment that John Humphries argues that

people who text are “vandals who are doing to our language what Genghis Khan did to

his neighbors 800 years ago. They are destroying it.” David Crystal, a professor at The

University at Whales, is known for his work in English language studies and linguistics.

David Crystal has also written over 100 books on the English language and has a very

different view of texting. David Crystal states that texting is “not a disaster” and that

“texting has added a new dimension to the use” of the English language. I agree with

David Crystal when he said that he believes texting can improve a child’s ability to read

and write rather than hinder their literacy. I would also like to point out that a person,

whether it be a child or adult, has to actually know the standard language before

alternatives or abbreviated forms can be used. Also people that use texting to

communicate have a chance to experiment and play with the language to see what can be

created. Another very important point that David Crystal makes in his article is that the

goal of the person creating or sending a text, abbreviated word, is that they want their

message or word to be easily understood and that it should be easy to read. Abbreviated

words have been around for centuries. Words like exam (examination), vet (veterinarian

or veteran) and fridge (refrigerator) are a few examples of abbreviated words that have

taken their place in the English language and have been adopted as new words. I would

also like to point out that use of initials or abbreviated words such as cmb (call me back)

and IOU (I owe you) is also not new to our language, but they have been used prior to the

technical age of today, but used in a different medium in the past such as a hand written

note. David Crystal claims that texting can help the English language and can improve

reading and writing skills. In the article Crystal discussed different studies between

texting and literacy in pre-teenage children. In my opinion the results were astounding

and unexpected. The studies showed that the more abbreviations used by children when

composing text messages, the higher the children scored on reading and vocabulary test.

The studies also showed that the children that used the greatest amount of “textisms”

were better at reading and writing. Another finding from the studies was that the younger

a child was at the time when they received their cell phone the higher their overall test

scores were. Would I be accurate to say that if someone wanted to learn texting,

“textisms” or abbreviated forms of writing words that they would first need to have the

sense of the sound of words relates to the letters. Besides abbreviations texting uses many
different features like sequences of shortened and full words, logo grams and shortened

words, logo grams and non-standard spelling of words. The characteristic that makes the

different styles unusual in the writing system is that the words run together with no

spacing. In Japan an author known as Yoshi has had huge success with a text messaging

novel. In 2007 writer Hannu Luntiala published “The Last Message” in which the entire

332 page narrative consist of sms messages. Crystal states that abbreviating saves time

and he also thinks that the English language is one of the few languages that texting or

abbreviated words will not destroy. Not only did people have...
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