Texting Improves Language

In “2b or not 2b”, David Crystal argues that there is no need for alarm as far as texting is concerned. He allays fears that the culture of texting might spell doom for the language in the future. He gives several reasons why texting cannot be considered to be a looming disaster for the English language. His main argument is that the orthography used in short messages has been a feature of the language for centuries, the only difference being the medium through which the information was passed. This article seeks to support David Crystal and assert that the form of language used in short messages is only a manifestation of the fact that the language is strengthening and evolving.

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David Crystal says that the introduction of new technology has always been greeted with cynicism and mistrust since the invention of printing (Crystal , 2008). People have always claimed that new technology would spell disaster for language. However, none of these predictions has come true. On the contrary, technological advances have fostered the development of language.

To defend this argument, Crystal has given a number of reasons. One is that despite the fact that texters break linguistic rules, they know that they need to be understood in order for the message to be passed across. Therefore, they strive to remain within the bounds of communication even when they send texts with a lot of abbreviations (Ms & Cary, 2011).

Moreover, Crystal argues that some of the abbreviations used in texting today have been in use for centuries. Crystal cites the example of IOU, which has been in use since the seventeenth century, but it has done nothing to destroy the English language.

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Perhaps even a weightier argument that David Crystal has put forth in his essay is that most text messages are sent without any abbreviations, using standard orthography. The messages that use abbreviations account for a very small percentage of the text messages that are sent. Institutional messages have led the way in upholding the tenets of conventional language (Tomita, 2009).

Crystal argues that texting has an interesting novelty to it, because it uses combinations and juxtapositions that have not been tried before (Crystal , 2008). Therefore, it has a rare novelty to it. This could be useful even in forensic investigation, because the style of one texter is often entirely different from the style of another texter. This is true, because it has indeed been proven that individuals have unique styles for texting (Drouin & Landgraff, 2011).

More intriguingly, Crystal also cites some studies that assert that students who text more are generally linguistically superior to their counterparts who do not text often. Studies show that children must have well-developed literacy awareness before they can be good in texting. Moreover, children must be sensitive to the communication needs of their “textees” to enable them using abbreviations in an effective manner.

Studies that have been conducted on the correlation between texting and standard language proficiency have concluded that children who text more become more proficient in the use of standard language. Moreover, those who use more abbreviations in their messages are better in spelling and reading than those who use fewer (Crystal , 2008). Crystal puts his case across in a strong manner, dispelling the fears of many people who believe that texting could lead to a degradation of the English language.

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Crystal argues in a very coherent manner about the impact of texting on standard language. Indeed, texting would only serve to strengthen the characteristics that language has. It is perfectly conceivable that new forms of technology are regarded with cynicism as far as language development is concerned (Levy, 2012). But as far as texting is concerned, there is enough reason to believe that it does not hurt, but rather helps to build the language.

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