TED Conversations

Joseph Burdi

This conversation is closed. Start a new conversation
or join one »

Can texting and text language be considered a new and global language for future communication?

McWhorter makes the case that text language is a new development in our linguistic knowledge, skills and understanding. Just as many languages were born from a shift in the usage and style of Latin, so too could be said of this new shift of English.

Can text be considered a growing language and should it be studied and utilized as a way of global communication as (if my knowledge is correct and feel free to disprove me) much of the language is internationally recoginzed? Where can we start classifying this as the birth of a new language?

+1
Share:
progress indicator
  • Apr 28 2013: yo! brb lol afiak g2g... I truly hope not. From my experiences txt speak and other digital shorthands take more time than they are worth. If I could monetize the number of times I have had to ask for clarification on 'ghr' or 'bkt' then I would be all for it.

    As with any abbreviated form of communication txt can excel in local communication but will ultimately fail in a global context. Granted the "local" context now spans continents but I maintain that short hand cannot take the place of an official language for proper communication when you deal with someone outside of your "local circle"

    When reading CVs or communications for my clients nothing sends up a red flag like 'u' replacing 'you.'

    I heard someone say "oh when im txtng i dont hav 2 worry abt gramer." YIKES. Guess you don't worry about sounding like a lazy idiot either. Perhaps that is harsh but I am seeing more and more children thinking that txt speak is a legitimate form of communication.

    Worse still is when someone tries to convert txt to speaks Oh Em Gee? Double yoo tee ef? Nothing makes me take someone less seriously than this.
    • Apr 28 2013: I can see where you're going with this. Text speak can often be confusing and certain shorthands can have many meanings depending on context, but if there was unified rules and regulations which are not directly associated to standard english grammar but a new set of grammar rules couldn't text language assist in sending important information quickly in high stress situations? For example, in a business meeting, someone cannot read a full text in standard english without showing disinterest or an uncaring attitude but can read shorthand to gain vital information to add to a conversation or close a deal.
      • Apr 28 2013: Again the example you give for txtng's utility sounds pretty localized, some sales team's internal communications on the fly; yeah that works, and likely already occurs. I certainly would never close a deal that was presented to me if it was written with undefined acronyms let alone one containing txt!

        Txt evolves naturally, and within common circles can be a very effective tool for communication. But standardizing it? Making it the new global language? No, for the same reason we don't teach slang in schools. A structured curriculum cannot possibly keep up with the rapid evolution of colloquial speech.

        Will txt be used in the professional world sure, but in a global context I just don't see it. I could be totally wrong and txt will do what Esperanto never could. But it still is like me nails on a chalk board when I hear 'um ma ga' (the Slovak equivalent of 'oh em gee' which you s just as bad.)
  • May 3 2013: I most certainly hope it does not.

    It is not professional or appropriate to use in professional settings. Simply due to that fact, It should not replace current language.
  • Apr 27 2013: Have a look at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simplified_Spelling_Board#The_first_300_words
    This is a list of changes the Simplified Spelling board attempted to insert into the american spelling of english words in 1906.
    Many of the changes survived its eventual dissolution, which is why the US is lacking lots of U's in words, uses Z too much and can't spell potatoe correctly.
    Its is a short term accommodation to the current technology that will disappear when we all become directly connected to the internet through chip implantation
  • Apr 27 2013: No texting is what some people uses this language. Ut others just write/type in English.