BIOK, YSK About the Texting/SMS Revolution
Back in 2009, a CD post featured Charles Platt, former senior writer for Wired Magazine, who got hired at an Arizona Wal-Mart and then blogged and wrote about his experience. Today he sends along this provocative guest post for CD: Phone messaging and Facebook are being blamed for degrading the English language, but in reality, language evolves to satisfy the needs of people who employ it, and the result is enrichment with new terms that serve a useful purpose. After online media encouraged acronyms as substitutes for frequently used phrases (such as BTW, OMG, and the ubiquitous LOL), the limitations of a phone keypad spawned abbreviations that are showing signs of permanence, even including txt for text and k for ok (Netlingo hosts a list of more than 2,000 chat acronyms and text message abbreviations, while Wikipedia provides a thorough history and analysis of SMS language).The international reach of the web means that the neologisms and (especially) emoticons are now functioning as the beginnings of a world language. Esperanto was supposed to achieve this, but failed miserably, perhaps because it was created by a committee of experts.Texting and messaging are developing from the grass roots up, and thus are more durable, regardless of what language professors might prefer. I see this as something to celebrate, but of course YMMV.~Charles PlattTAM Charles!