I admit it… I spell out all the words and use correct punctuation and grammar when I text. Initially when texting became available, I thought it was stupid. ”Well, if I have something to say, I’ll just call them.” Now, I’m the exact opposite; I’d rather text than call someone. When I talk on the phone, I have to observe social niceties like asking how the person is doing and listening to them for what is always longer than 5 minutes. With texting, I get to skip over all that and get to the point. Phone calls are nicer and more social, while texting is way more efficient.
I recently watched something called a TED talk. Linguist John McWhorter encourages us to look at texting less as something written than as “fingered speech.” When I watched the talk and began to look at texting that way, with its own rules and grammar, it shifted my perspective on it. Maybe it isn’t that the younger generation is butchering basic rules of language, but rather learning a new and complex language that people my are are just a little mystified by.
It’s a great talk, and can be found here. It’s less than 15 minutes long, but very interesting.