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Is the discourse of text messages and abbreviated posts devolving our language?

Think about what you experience on social media and exercise whether our language is ruined or changed for the better? Should we embrace the ways of the future and look forward to books written with genius literary writing such as "yestiday i cort da bus 2 da mall 4 a shawp & lunch wid mi bffl!!!!" Will punctuation marks such as commas, apostrophes and semi colons become the way of the past whilst multiple exclamation marks and hashtags rein supreme?

  • Language does evolve. Perhaps, examples of how language has changed and how it has affected society. The writer could include reasons for language changes; such as, cultural influences or significant events that took taking place. Consequently, the writer can then address the current form of abbreviated communication. – Venus Echos 2 years ago
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  • I remember writing something on this in University, actually. I remember making the case that actually, it's the opposite. If anyone who takes this up wants to look at both sides, you could make the case that it actually takes a good command of the English language to be able to manipulate it like that, and bad spellers are much more concerned with trying to get their spellings right than manipulating the language successfully. This topic goes straight into the slang topic, from Cockney rhyming slang to internet and texting slang. It's a wide topic but very worthy of writing. – Adnan Bey 2 years ago
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  • I agree with Adnan -- language is evolving. I personally like the example of how millennials grew up with internet langauge -- first with AIM, then forum speak with loads of "epic fails" and "XD," growing up to using no shortenings, and then using shortenings ironically. "LMAO," for example, gives a different meaning than it used to when it first appeared. – ChristelleMarie Chua 2 years ago
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  • I agree it's devolving, not evolving. Yes, the simpler it gets the easier it is for less articulate people to get their point across but that simplification is resulting in a loss of language... as in, people don't know what larger words mean or how to properly spell or use grammar... The "word of the year" was an emoji, was it not? We're losing synonyms, punctuation, syntax, everything. – Slaidey 2 years ago
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  • It would be interesting to look at how educators deal with students using abbreviated words and sentences in work assignments. Do they deduct marks or consider it now mainstream enough to be acceptable language? That could be a good indicator in seeing if this abbreviated language is here to stay. – Lexzie 2 years ago
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  • I think its definitely true that abbreviation is killing the language. It is the apocalypse of Grammar – LydiaBrunet 2 years ago
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  • Wow, now this is a great topic in which I have so much to say. As a professor, I cannot even begin to discuss the amount of time spent in the syllabus, and during the first day of class, regarding the protocol of the acceptable mode of emailing. A lesson, that is unfortunately repeated in class at least one more time in the semester...If I am lucky. The emails are one thing, but regarding written assignments, I truly believe they use abbreviated "text language," out of habit. When I point this out to the student, they are usually mortified, and I therefore try not to make it a big deal, but use it as a talking point for the importance of printing out your work, reading it aloud; changing the font to see the difference; using a different screen view to gain a different perspective on one's work, etc. An entire book written in text language would drive me insane; yet, one with it intertwined in places would be fitting, and an ode to the way in which language is being used--or misused--at this point in time. – danielle577 1 year ago
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  • I think teens' culture and text speech nowadays can be helpful in a way, to make communicating more accessible to them. They have a larger sense of community now that there exists such a bigger generation gap. True -- it does make it more difficult to connect with those older than them, such as their parents. But they are more inclined to get their ideas out there, no matter how terrible they are, or how badly they are communicated. Today's technology makes it so much easier for anyone to get connected to anything, and abbreviation can definitely save time – dandeliaon 1 year ago
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  • I personally don't call it a devolution. Sure, words and phrases are getting shorter physically, a few of our best are losing syllables, but the meaning behind them has remained the same. "Text language" has its own set of rules, just like "regular English". For instance, yesterday I texted my friend a pun that I thought was absolutely hilarious. She replied with a "haha", and immediately I knew that she had not been amused.Now, if she'd replied with an "lol" or that laughing emoji, it would've been a much more positive reaction, even though all three options contain classic factors of conveying amusement. The reliance on connotation and knowing the person being contacted on at least a slightly personal level is why I don't call this shift in language a "devolution". That being said, I think the distinction between personal and professional language is important and should stick around, at least for now. I still proofread emails for proper grammar and spelling when contacting a superior or a professor, and I doubt I'll ever be comfortable sending an emoji to any of those individuals. – eschiem 1 year ago
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  • I make a distinction between the evolution of a language and the devolution of its nuanced application. It's perfectly fine for 'textspeak' to emerge as a result of modern technology–that's an evolution. However, it's an entirely different thing for people to lose their ability for nuanced communication by being too dependent on simplistic forms–that's a devolution in meaningful application. . . but lol wut do i kno??? – IsidoreIsou 1 year ago
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  • Much like eschiem said, It might be interesting to explore how the use of abbreviation actually allows language to better simulate verbal speech in text. For example "you" means something different from "u" and many young people can tell the difference. "i h8u" means something different from "I hate you" . One connotes a joking tone the other a serious statement. Its the difference between stating something plainly and saying it with a roll of the eyes. – Mariel 1 year ago
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  • Devolution or evolution, it all depends on your perception of language and culture. One thing is certain: language is constantly changing. I'm currently taking a Linguistics class called "The Nature of Language" and I had never known how altered the english language is until now. Several words that we use in every speech are shorter versions of words, words that come from names and more. Pants is short for pantaloons. Bloomers were named after Amelia J. Bloomer. I think this specific change of language, using names and truncating words is interesting and I would consider it a form of evolution. I would also consider slang a form of evolution because it provides a sense of community and helps detect a certain era of language; however, text slang which is simple severely butchered diction is not evolution in my eyes. Reducing this vast english language to a few letters and numbers is also reducing the language. – sastephens 1 year ago
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  • Personally, I hate what textspeak and technology have done to our language but then again, I'm a former English teacher and full-time writer, as well as a certified member of the Grammar Police. – Stephanie M. 4 months ago
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  • To judge by the sheer volume of helpful notes attached to this topic suggestion, you have really opened the proverbial 'can of worms', or perhaps that should be Pandora's Box! Much of what I would have suggested has already been covered by previous commentators - so whomever takes on this subject will have rich pickings from which to draw. We only need look at some of the comments made in response to You Tube videos to see just how poor the grasp of basic written English can be and 'text speak' frequently hides this fact. Maybe it's because I'm 'Old School', but I have to side with StephanieM on this issue. However, somewhat ironically, I do use textspeak a lot when texting close friends, but only because it's economical. Regarding the demise of punctuation marks - the one that will never disappear is the exclamation mark! Texters love to overuse it!! Don't they? !?!!!!? – Amyus 4 months ago
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