Media Musings

News on Media: Is Texting Killing the English Language?

This article is an interesting take on the argument that texting has been killing the English language. The author of the article argues that texting has not damaged our use of English; instead, texting is developing as its own mode of communication with its own grammar and rules of connotation. 

This article is engaging because it couches the argument in terms of history. The article explains how writing and speaking have always been historically different because the former is slow and deliberate while the latter is quick and casual. Texting is supposedly the bridge that allows for writing to “reproduce the speed of conversation” – which means that texting can take on the same casual tone that talking has. Furthermore, the article claims that history itself is unfolding at this very moment with evolution of connotation in texting. The author uses “LOL” as an example, which has evolved from its literal meaning of “laugh out loud” to a filler word that creates a casual mood.

I think the arguments used in this short, yet thought-provoking article are insightful. It makes sense to look at texting as the evolution of a new dialect as opposed to the destruction of another. Perhaps the interesting question is, with the growing prevalence of casual texting language, will formal language eventually be pushed to the backburner? Yes, texting is not ruining our ability to write using proper spelling and grammar, but we do write with proper English less because it is more acceptable to write informally. Many years down the road, will using the traditional English grammar only be considered an art form, the way of Old English?