Free Essay


In: English and Literature

Submitted By emilyhenrietta
Words 750
Pages 3
Wilson, Emily
September 21, 2013

How Is Evolution Killing the English Language?
Texting has become one of the most common forms of communication in modern times, especially with the younger generations. As the times and definitions of “modern” continues to change, many people are having troubles coping with this concept and the fact we are and will always continue to evolve. Just as growing up is the human body’s way of changing, language is societies way of changing. There is no set definition of what the English language is supposed to be composed of, forever. The English language is not negatively impacted by texting; it is simply evolving through new forms of communication, entertainment, and learning.
Our way of communicating with each other has been transformed with the help or “txtspeak.” It is a very common way of talking, whether it’s in person or through SMS. If we compare what we considered to be the language of English from a few hundred years ago to now, there is an obvious change. As we evolve as a society, everything around us does as well. Abbreviations are being entered into the dictionary and many people are going crazy over it. One of the most common complaints about our overuse of abbreviations is the multiple meaning of them. Humphrys claims that, “as it has developed, its users have sought out increasingly obscure ways of expressing themselves.”(Humphrys, 187) Even though this seems to be true, the trick to figuring out the meaning lays in the context. Abbreviations with different meanings are like homonyms; it’s all about how it’s being used and in what context. Just as time changes day-by-day, year-by-year, our current “lingo” begins to change as well. However, it may have already started a very long time ago.
Another thing to consider is the fact that abbreviations used in texts have been around for hundreds of years. The phrase “IOU is known from 1618.”(Crystal, 191) The original abbreviation of this phrase is “I owe you”, however this version is rarely ever used. The reason for that is because it’s easier to use abbreviations rather than spelling it all out. This is an example of how we have thrived off of older generations. It started off with a few simple abbreviations, but we are taking it to a whole other level and creating an entirely new language and system of communication. In 1942, “Eric Patridge published his Dictionary of Abbreviations”(Crystal, 191), which is a contributing origin to our “new language.” Texting is our language and culture in evolution; it’s not just being used for ways of communicating, but as forms of entertainment as well.
“Txtspeak” has become a part of modern literature. People are using it to write poems and books, such as Deep Love (Crystal, 190) and the TTFN/TTYL book series. These books consist only of text messages, which include many abbreviations. However, it isn’t only the English language that is conforming to “txtspeak”, the Chinese have hopped on bandwagon of language evolution as well with the publication of the “m-novel” by Xuan Huang. (Crystal, 194) This novel is a love story that bloomed due to a wrongly sent text message, and all 15 chapters are told through text messages. There are numerous aspects of texting that are being worked in to our daily lives as forms of literature and learning as well.
Even children are thriving off this new system of communication. Studies from Coventry University have established “strong positive links between the use of text language and the skills underlying the success in Standard English in pre-teenage children.”(Crystal, 195) It is a proven fact that the more abbreviations used in a child’s vocabulary reflect greatly on their reading and vocabulary test scores, resulting in a positive effect of “txtspeak.” This shows that our English language is not being negatively impacted by “txtspeak”, we are proving to grow from it.
There are large amounts of people who look down on this new “language”, but they have not seen the positive effects of it. People of all different age groups are thriving from the new system of language. Although Humphrys believes that it’s degrading to the English Language, he is quite wrong. This is our language in evolution and it’s helping people left and right. It isn’t long before there’s some new form of English that people are raving about, but until then, “txtspeak” will be under attack.

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