Is Twitter ruining how people write?

And sometimes it can and is: God is love.

Very true!

Well, not to make a pun, but thinking on that, it would seem clear that thinking deeply requires a lot of brain space, just like in the same manner good quality text demands five pages just to deliver a single point.

On the other hand, if you’re just trying to tell your kid that you’re already waiting for him at the parking lot… :shrug:

Totally with you on this: language is meant to be as fluid as we are, and just because we aren’t talking/writing like people in a Jane Austen novel, doesn’t mean the human race is about to devolve into cave people going “Umfh, umfh, umfh.”

Come to think of it, Twitter-speak reminds me of telegram-writing in the early 20th century. When I was in junior high school (homeschooling), I had this English grammar textbook from the 1950s which included a chapter on writing telegrams properly. It came in handy when I got my Twitter account and helped me post better Tweets.

My colleague got an email from his high school son’s teacher. She didn’t capitalize anything of use punctuation. He replied back and told her that he feared for his child - that she was a teacher and if she was sloppy in communicating how was she going to teach his child.

Maybe the Shift key on the computer was stuck? Mine has been known to act up randomly.

Moderation, I suppose, is the key here.

The invention of shorthand is not without reason. Certainly, it brings us much convenience especially when we’re short of time and have to get a message across quickly.

But nevertheless, people also have to be careful not to fall into a trap whereby they will only “speak” in short-form. The more we do that the more likely, like it has been said, that we will tend to think more shallowly~

There are the times and places for each. So be the wiser to know when to use shorthand and when to use proper English - regardless of how English itself is ‘evolving’.

Not necessarily. Plenty of people just don’t bother. They don’t want the “additional” exertion of using capital letters or punctuation marks. As such, they’ll write in all lowercase or all uppercase and use three dots as dividers, if any.

Yeah, magnet notes on the fridge.

Well, we are living in the information era which has significantly transformed the way we do business. And I will add that it has mostly been positive IMHO.

Sending and receiving information–communication–is a constituent part of our daily lives. Modern technology is there to enhance communication. In this era, the reasoning is: If certain parts of a message are not necessary or do not influence the transmission, reception or interpretation, then why not get rid of them in order to enhance the overall system?

Think of a telephone call–voice transmission. In retrospect, the complete signal generated by a human was transmitted over the telephone line. It was later discovered that certain parts of the voice signal were not relevent (voice frequencies that we humans can’t hear). So they said okay, let’s transmit only those sonic signals and use the other frequecies to transmit data. That’s how telephone lines today are used to transmit both voice (which is filtered) and data.

Similarly, correct grammar or syntax is not necessary for the transmission, reception and interpretation of a message written in a natural language. This is one of the reasons (amongst globalisation…) for the evolvement.

People spend relatively much time writing frequently occurring phrases. So Google thought: Why don’t we develop a system that would help users complete their phrases?

Why post a letter when you can send an electronic mail that gets delivered faster,…?

And so on and so forth.

I had to grin when I read the thread title, which is itself an example of the devolution (okay, change, pace some of the posters) of the language during this generation. I’m Gen-X but can recall being taught that it was not correct grammar to use “how” as a noun. According to the style manuals, it should be worded “Is Twitter ruining the way people write?”:smiley:

True, lol. Nice catch. On the other hand, it’s consistent with similar developments in other languages and it could be recognised as a legitimate change. This is different from lousy “texting” grammar and syntax in official writing. I frequently lament what even professional linguists are capable of producing.

I had the same thought, too when I saw how someone wrote particular words, which makes sense if you think of how those words are starting to be pronounced. (mostly the i and e sounds interchanging - which seems to happen a lot in the English language throughout the centuries) Also, if you read literature from the 16th century, it looks like a blend between Old English and Modern English.

The advent of the Internet age and the proliferation of electronic gadgets of all imaginable kinds has become the “bubble gum for the brain” for this generation. People are either losing or not developing proper communication skills. Three quarters of the planet has their collective heads buried in one kind of screen or another; we have unwittingly immersed ourselves to the point of actually believing spending hours on end sending drivel back and forth to one another is somehow beneficial. In actual fact, our ability to communicate orally and in writing has diminished greatly. Sadly, even I find myself choosing an e-mail over a phone call. Relationships become more shallow, less personal or meaningful in my humble opinion. I am exceedingly proud to say that I am one of the few on this planet who does not own a cell phone. And, guess what? I have survived quite nicely without it, thank you!! Pardon me now while I get back to see what’s happening on Yahoo!

I think it’s amazing how close the poll numbers are for this!

Of course our ability to write is being ruined by Twitter, but it is also being ruined by texting, slang, and Spell Check. Culture is just in a permanent decline and we just have to face up to it.

It’s like how calculators are ruining people’s ability to do basic math…try and do a long multiplication or division in your head…most people can’t…Heck I see people all the time trying to get out the phones to use the “Tip calculator” to figure out the tip…for crying out loud it’s not hard to compute 20% from the total bill! :rolleyes:

Twitter, MySpace, FaceBook etc are all disasters. Gimme old BBS’es or even better newsgroups. The days of alt.barney.dinosaur.die.die.die and other fun groups like
alt.cats.declawing-debate are long gone. Trolling was also fun back in those days.

You had to type properly to troll too, here’s an old example:

This was the troll (first relevant part, note the typical trolling style):

I get this feeling that your anti-MS because your an old school
UNIX weenie that hates the fact of MS-NT eating your lunch with
zero administration and fast setup?

This was the first answer:

“Zero Administration?” …Service packs that fix one problem while
introducing another. Distributed in straight binary format with no
source code and no compiler, so you can’t fix bugs in the code
yourself. Changing simple things like IP settings requires a reboot.
Changing damn near anything requires a reboot. On what’s supposed to
be an Enterprise-class server? The people that actually have to
administer NT systems usually hate them. Their boss is the one who
bought MS’s BS about “ease of use” and “reliability”.

This was the second answer (quite interesting, I believe)
I can vouch for this somewhat, having to deal with an NT box at work, although it’s actually given us little trouble. The reason for this is that we have only one mission-critical function running on NT: our proxy server. The only other tasks it’s used for are backing up the network and file/application serving, neither of which would cripple us if the box puked tomorrow. The real important stuff runs on Linux or Solaris (and, as soon as Informix ports its DB tools to Linux, the Sun box will find itself on the doorstep the next day).

What slays me about Microsoft is how badly their software can coexist with other products, including their own. A classic example is their aforementioned proxy Server. When you set up NT with the Option Pack and Service Pack 3, it installs Internet Information Server 4.0 by default. Which is fine, except for one small detail: it breaks proxy Server. We had to back IIS 4.0 out of the system and install IIS 3.0, which has no trouble working with proxy Server. AFAIK, there is still no fix to get proxy Server working properly with IIS 4.0.

Now tell me: if Microsoft can’t be bothered to fix glaring compatibility issues with its own products, what makes anyone think it gives two shits about making them compatible with anyone else’s? Why the hell did Sun sue Microsoft over the Java issue in the first place?

Second part of the troll:

UNIX hit rock bottom 2 years ago when the DOD **** canned it due to
it high cost. NT is cheaper and faster to use. Who in their right
mind would spend 1,500 for a crude UNIX OS when NT is better and almost 1,300 cheaper???

First answer

Well, why would you need to spend $1500 when you can get your pick of
various *BSD and Linux OS’s for either the cost of the CD, or the time
it takes to download? NT Server costs $200? I think it’s a bit more
than that. And you also have to buy client licenses by the seat. The
more workstations you have being served by NT, the greater the cost.

Second answer

He may be thinking of NT Workstation, which is a very different

Point of comparison: our upgrade to NT (we qualified, having run
Netware previously) cost us just under $1500 for the server and 30
client licenses (also not $200). But Solaris is much, much more
expensive, especially if you run it on SPARC hardware, although
there are no client-access restrictions.


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