That’s right. txts r 2 blme.
Well at least our overuse of them is. Is anyone else annoyed when they receive a txt ful ov shrthand, or a bout of poor grammar? It is my pet hate, and yes, I am under the age of 30.
I recently left my phone at home lately (sadly, product of a too-long download and sync) and I felt a slight palpitating fear in my chest at the thought of missing it, like a limb. I was genuinely concerned what I might do if I broke down, despite having no issues with my car to cause the concern. I was worried I might miss something. Of course, I didn’t because life really isn’t that exciting. It did, however, prove my point that we are ultra dependent on technology to get us through the day. Let’s mix that day of technological dependence with a teenager brought up on mobile phone technology, predictive text and shorthand. Do we really think this won’t have an impact? What is going to become of the English language in another generation’s time if we can’t manage to spell things properly today?
Of course I realise that not everyone is A grade material at a spelling competition from my generation or those previous, but I’d say we had a much better chance. Who knows if their spelling is incorrect these days? The number of times I’ve seen their/there, you/yousens (good God – I hate the colloquialised pluralisation here), were/where, your/you’re etc…. I want to cry…or punch something. I might be making light of the situation but it is a real worry. Why are we not more worried about the future language capabilities of our nations?
I realise that Chaucerian English is about as difficult to understand these days as txt spk and that we have evolved a long way from this into that of today, but are we to move towards scrapping the Queen’s English as we know it altogether in a few generations? I would hate to see the beauty of the English language lost as many today already feel the Austin’s, Shakespeare’s and definately Chaucer’s of the world are lost to them in double Dutch. Are we to relegate our communication in written form completely to the technological fire too? For my sanity’s sake, I will continue to use the correct version of your and you’re (your beautiful will forever haunt me…… Your beautiful what?!) and the rest of the melting pot of fabulous words we have developed and cherished, and hope that we do not lose the sheer beauty of language, let alone the literacy gems we have come to recognise.
In the meantime, text-speak and poor grammar will continue to have the same effect on me as nails down a blackboard. Please respect it, and proper syntax!
Some thoughts from BBC readers online shed some interesting light on the points above:
Surely as time is going on our language is getting shorter and shorter thanks to technology. Eventually we won’t need to write anything down and we will just speak into microphones and it will be written/stored for us. We are all just gonna end up speaking a slang form of our language. John Jackson, UK
Texting is transforming our language, making it evolve at a remarkable pace. As a lecturer I find students slipping text language into everyday work, however they seem to have got to grips with reverting back to the Queen’s English when submitting reports and other major written work. The frightening thing is I have noticed I’ve been using it when leaving notes for students to book tutorials and when sending a quick email to a work colleague. Is there no hope for us! Stuart Rhodes, England
Ruining? RUINING? It’s expanding our language. It’s making it more compatible with a write-faster short-message society. When people started saying ‘why’ more often than ‘wherefore’, there were no doubt old-fashioned starchies around then who argued that was wrong. Liz Bulleyment, Derbyshire
- Sheffield School Bans TXT Speak (gizmodo.co.uk)
- UK firms are putting school-leavers on courses to correct their ‘text-speak’ (thenextweb.com)
- Split Infinitives are Not Incorrect Grammatically (todayifoundout.com)
- My Personal War On Text Speak (keelanfoley.wordpress.com)