Day 112: Txting is killing language. Jk!!

Do you think language has gone downhill since we started to text and email? What if you looked at this talk and saw that for centuries scholars have bemoaned the state of literacy and language in students and the general public? In this talk, linguist John McWhorter argues that texting is an advanced form of communication.
Look at some of history’s famous speeches. In the days of Lincoln, people spoke how they wrote. According to McWhorter, this is unlikely to be conducive to modern relationships. Instead of being viewed as writing, texting should be seen as casual speech. The ability to utilise this new form of communication could be viewed as almost bilingual, says McWhorter, bringing to mind all the researched cognitive benefits of holding two languages.
Texting has created many nuances of new language. One convention is ‘LOL’. Once thought to solely mean, ‘laugh out loud,’ it’s now used regularly as an empathetic tool. Similar phrases in spoken language include, ‘Yo.’ These are called pragmatic particles. The word or symbol for ‘slash’ is frequently used to change the topic in text, it being impossible in this medium to scratch one’s head and yawn. And don’t get McWhorter started on ‘Haha,’ apparently a thesis all on its own.
Texting is here to stay, and McWhorter is definitely on the side of the mobile phone. If he could time travel to 2030, it would be to see how the teens communicate with their thumbs.


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