Txtng: The Gr8 Db8
David Crystal, Ed MacLachlan
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Author note: Illustrated by Ed MacLachlan
Text messaging has spread like wildfire. Indeed texting is so widespread that many parents, teachers, and media pundits have been outspoken in their criticism of it. Does texting spell the end of western civilization?
In this humorous, level-headed and insightful book, David Crystal argues that the panic over texting is misplaced. Crystal, a world renowned linguist and prolific author on the uses and abuses of English, here looks at every aspect of the phenomenon of text-messaging and considers its effects on literacy, language, and society.
He explains how texting began, how it works, who uses it, and how much it is used, and he shows how to interpret the mixture of pictograms, logograms, abbreviations, symbols, and wordplay typically used in texting. He finds that the texting system of conveying sounds and concepts goes back a long way--to the very origins of writing. And far from hindering children's literacy, texting turns out to help it.
Illustrated with original art by Ed MacLachlan, a popular cartoonist whose work has appeared in Punch, Private Eye, New Statesman, and many other publications, Txting: The Gr8 Db8 is entertaining and instructive--reassuring for worried parents and teachers, illuminating for teenagers, and fascinating for everyone interested in what's currently happening to language and communication.
initialisms þ logogram þ shortened word þ full word þ nonstandard spelling þ logogram. And some messages contain unusual processes: in iohis4u ‘I only have eyes for you’, we see the addition of a plural ending to a logogram (cf. the ‘smiles’ example on p. 16). One characteristic runs through all these examples: the letters, symbols, and words are run together, without spaces. This is certainly unusual in the history of special writing systems. In most of the examples of pretexting language in
adults were the biggest users of texting abbreviations, and there was a rapid decline of use with age. But not all features of standard English orthography showed the same pattern. Surprisingly, it was the younger adults who were more likely to use standard capitalization and punctuation. Ling also found differences in texting behaviour between the sexes. Despite the fact that men were quicker to adopt mobile phones when they ﬁrst became available, women turned out to be the more enthusiastic
English/Chinese mixing, for this can be read in two ways. Given a wholly English reading, it is ‘before’. But in Chinese, the pinyin reading of 4 is si, and the combination bi-si is close to bi-shi, which means ‘despise’ – so B4 can also be seen with that meaning in Chinese texting. Sometimes the inﬂuence of one language upon another is seen in the spelling. Polish texters often use English sh instead of their native sz or z˙. There is no x in the Czech alphabet, but it will be seen in texts as a
present an unclear picture, and their conclusions are distorted by media hype. For example, in 2006, the chief examiner’s report of the Irish State Examination Commission drew attention to a concern over one section of the Junior Certiﬁcate:2 2
motivated all the headlines, in which the language of possibility was transformed into the language of deﬁnite fact: Shock: text messages blamed for declining standards in written language (Mobile Digest) Text messages destroying our language (The Daily Opinion: see p. 7 above) Also in 2006, the Scottish Qualiﬁcations Authority commented that text abbreviations were appearing, but only in a ‘very small’ percentage of exam papers.4 In relation 3 For an excellent collection of media quotations