On txtng and language

In a 2007 article titled Has txt kild the ritn wd?, Geoff Strong (writing in The Age) makes a delicious contribution to the txtng and language debate.

Firstly, he describes the result of txtng as “an emotionally stunted, encrypted creole that has left language purists reaching for their smelling salts and linguistic adventurers salivating.”

Secondly, Strong quotes RMIT University’s Julie Faulkner, who studies trends in popular culture, to highlight the long history of coded communication in the English language: “The implication is that the language of Shakespeare has witnessed a decline but isn’t Shakespeare as heavily coded a form of communication as txt itself?”

Lastly, he says: “Linguistic puritans might moan and long for a golden era of “proper” usage but they forget Shakespeare invented every tenth word he wrote and we still use many of them daily from aggravate to homicide and submerge. Others he invented such as “tortive” meaning twisted and “vastidity” meaning immensity have dropped out of use. Unhandled exception and p(^-^)q could well suffer the same fate.”

Language is constantly changing, increasingly influenced by the medium of communication. Txtng is undeniably a part of that change, whether for the better or not.


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