Texting, Chatting, and Informal Typing

With the exponential growth of technology and communication, this sort of thing has become increasingly more common. What does everyone think about it?

I think it bothers me less then popular musicians who insist on spelling things wrong to be ‘cool’ or ‘hip’.

What bothers me the most about these mediums is that it creates a culture of rudeness. I continually see people talking face to face with someone and then stop to check their text messages. I continually talk to friends who check their messages in the middle of a conversation. This is dismissive… and just plain rude.

The worst, perhaps, is people who make comments like; My phone is my LIFE. By people I mean 16 year old kids. They spend more time texting their friends then speaking face to face to their friends.

No matter what anyone says we are not quite ‘normal’ in written context. We have time to order our thoughts, to consider what we’re writing, heck! To research what we’re saying! This gives an inaccurate picture of who someone is. In a way maybe it’s ideal? Because we are given time to do all these things… but in another way it leads to difficulty dealing with others face to face because you have become so reliant on the lag time between reading (hearing) what someone is saying and typing (responding) to what they’ve said.

Spontaneity, the ability to ‘think on one’s feet’, wit… it all goes by by in the face of this medium.

But that’s just my opinion gleaned from my limited experience (IE: I was a basement dweller who lived online for a good deal of my teen years). :slight_smile:

I despise it, and all my friends who text me know I don’t answer them if their text is full or that “texting language”

I’m old school like that.

I try to spell things and use correct grammar as much as possible. I don’t usually send text messages unless I need to say something short that doesn’t need a message on an answering machine. I can understand using it in some contexts. If someone’s phone is on silent, they will see the message first thing when they are done with their class/meeting/movie/etc.

This is why I have text messaging disabled on my phone. I’m happy to say I’ve never in my life sent a text message. I try to keep away from Gmail chat and the like, as well, but that can be convenient sometimes. I wholeheartedly agree that it is exceedingly rude to check text messages, voicemail, etc., in the middle of a conversation with someone (unless, of course, you’re waiting for an urgent call).

I dislike it but I’m not ready to blame text-speak for the downfall of the English language. English has been evolving for centuries and will probably continue to do so.

I do think that abbreviations like “gr8” have a place in the case of cell phones and other media with limited screen size. It can also useful when one is involved in a live communal chat where speed is important. Since texting and instant messaging are typically *private *conversations I figure it’s not my place to tell people how to write/spell. But I do appreciate it when people take the time to make the best effort as possible to communicate clearly with me. (However there have been plenty of times that I have re-read one of my posts here --after the editing time limit had been reached-- and noted some egregious grammar error that made me want to crawl under a rock.)

I think that people should normally use correct grammar and spelling when writing emails, posting on Facebook, communicating on discussion boards/forums, and the like. However there are times when short phrases like, “No!” “What flavor?” or “On the top shelf,” are reasonable, especially when someone is in the process of carrying on a *private *conversation (or a simulated private conversation) since that is the way people *speak *to each other.

Occasionally phrases (as opposed to full sentences) are better at communicating feelings, emphasis, or nuances. But generally, full sentences (preferably using active voice) with well defined subjects, verbs, and other speech parts, are the best way to clearly and logically communicate.

I sent text messages often to my husband and friends and yes, we do use informal typing - gr8, CUL8r etc. We can only send 160 characters on a mobile phone which is fine in Japanese but you can’t say much in English. When chatting these are also useful.
However, on forums, Facebook, message boards, I use standard English grammar and spelling. Not everyone using these is familiar with texting “shorthand”, not everyone is a native speaker of English. The purpose is to make communication clear and easy to understand, not some sort of code that people have to decipher.

I use full english as much as I can except in 2 places.

One is note taking for university. My notes are littered with acronyms and shortened words because that’s the only way you can get everything down more of less neatly and legibly (the only problem is some words come out the same, like is temp. temperature or temporary? Context is everything). Sometimes chemical names will be replaced with formulas too.

The other is texting, but I don’t use combinations of letters and numbers. It’s more shortened words and acronyms (like wknd for weekend) because typing on a number pad is just terrible. I agree with the checking cell phones though, it is rude. I’ve got voicemail so someone can leave me a message if it’s important. If you don’t leave a message, then it probably wasn’t important. Sometimes I’ll check texts in class (but only if it’s a really boring class, which sometimes happens in engineering, and only if it’s not something I need to be paying attention to)

It’s possibly the cause of a major upheaval of the English language, but honestly, I don’t care. As an English & Language Arts major, I have studied how our language has evolved so much over the years…this is its natural progression.

Throughout history the written English lanugage was developed by the intellectual elite who were literate. Even when literacy spread as it did in more recent times, it was impossible for the average person to published anything. The advent of the Internet, especially with blogs, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, etc., have made it possible for anyone to publish anything online. The uneducated man is now developing written language. This is a first in the history of writing.

Texting, et. al., will definitely begin the downfall of the English language.

I have spoken about this with some teachers I know and they told me that they are seeing this kind of language - texting language - appear in students’ assignments. I have been criticized by professors for using the passive voice in my writing assignments. I can’t imagine my grade if I were to include texting language.

We already have so-called professional journalists and talking heads who use expressions like “dis” in their reports and writing. To me, this is the height of unprofessionalism and laziness, quite honestly.

I have also seen a woman on TV who is starting a movement to change the spelling of certain English words to a more phonetically compliant (read - user friendly), text-like form. Her complaint is that the English language is too hard to master, so words like “height” and “fight” should be spelled “hite” and “fite,” respectively.

Texting and chatting language will only continue the downward spiral.

Why is all this bad? Why do you see it as a negative rather than a positive?

Because I have a brain and I like to be challenged… :slight_smile:

Learning is a good thing. If everyone in history took the easy way out, would there be progress, inventions, discoveries, new words, even? Are we to dumb-down everything that poses a challenge to our thinking? Let’s change algebra too, because, like English and grammar, algebra has hard rules to follow.

Expressions like “dis” and most pop culture, street slang speech is based in illiteracy, and speaks poorly of one’s intelligence and intellect, unless, of course, you are not your child’s mother, but, rather, your baby mama. Tru dat!

To use this type of language in a formal setting (in any setting, really) is wrong and inappropriate, especially in school assignments that are designed to challenge the mind and convey knowledge.

Changing the language to an easier, phonetic spelling ignores etymology and makes it meaningless. Gone is the association with root words that reveal the different languages and cultures inherent in the formation of words. Gone, too, is the meaning of those words.

Or, I guess we could regress further than simply changing the spelling of words to make things easier. We can just grunt at each other and not have to worry about writing and spelling at all.

BBFN… :wink:

It’s entirely impossible to rework the English language so that there are no exceptions or different ways to spell the same sounds. Although there are exceptions to rules, there are a lot of rules that people are just ignorant about, which is why they (mostly native speakers) find English so complex regarding spelling. If they would have learned the rules that children have always learned in acquiring the language, they would have a much better grasp of the situation. Of course, there will always be spelling bees since there will always be some exceptions, but, like the sacred liturgy, language develops organically and by use, not by committee.

A co-worker showed me an email he received from his son’s teacher. Apparently it took to much energy to use capitalization and punctuation. He let her know how unprofessional it looked, how concerned he became that someone of her caliber was teaching his son. She didn’t appreciate it.

I don’t text.

I occasionally chat with relatives & friends on facebook - but besides the occasional lol, I always use the brain God gave me in regards to spelling & grammar.

I always had been old-fashioned and conservative, no matter of the surrounding. Though I sometimes use instant messaging which is similar to chats, so common manners of instant messaging are, I always speak “old-school” language forms with receipents of my words. And in cell phone messaging, where words mean money, I use “telegraph” style.

[quote=Jersey Jeepster]Expressions like “dis” and most pop culture, street slang speech is based in illiteracy, and speaks poorly of one’s intelligence and intellect, unless, of course, you are not your child’s mother, but, rather, your baby mama. Tru dat!

[quote=Jersey Jeepster]Changing the language to an easier, phonetic spelling ignores etymology and makes it meaningless. Gone is the association with root words that reveal the different languages and cultures inherent in the formation of words. Gone, too, is the meaning of those words.

I agree.

Freedom of speech must not have influence on official, traditional grammar.

Languages are always in a state of flux, so this is nothing new. The one thing that should be remembered is that people “code switch” all the time. The language used in an informal letter or text to a friend is different than that sent in a formal email or letter to a client.

As I teach my students they can use the words and language they want when conversing with friends outside of school. In my classroom, the rule is standard English. Why? Because it is the language of business and academics here in the United States and as such is the language of power. I am here to prepare you for additional education or to get a job. So, that is what I teach.

I am very harsh on this aspect. Then again, my students will tell you I am too tough on anything as I take points off and raise my voice to ask: WHY IS YOUR ESSAY NOT IN MLA FORMAT?

Texting, etc., does not necessarily require one to use text “shorthand”. I find text messaging incredibly convenient, especially when information must be transmitted quickly. Actually, I text far more often than I actually make calls with my cell phone - always with proper grammar (fussy English major here…)

Rarely do I chat online, unless someone contacts me first (which is rare). I email extensively, and love my Facebook page, as we have family and friends all over the country.

I am horrified by the thought of texting shorthand becoming accepted English, however.

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