Tuesday, December 16, 2008

There's no debate

Yes, rock 'n' roll, rap music and other fads or trends embraced by youth have been pronounced at various times over the years as a sign of the end. Those cries were, as it turns out, premature, but count me as one of those who believes text messaging is the beginning of the end for the English language.

There really can be no doubt that text messaging will finish the job started by advertising copy writers. But there's always someone who plays devil's advocate.


"Faced with a new kind of communication problem . . . people all over the world have set about solving it . . . not by inventing a new language but by adapting old language to suit the new medium," David Crystal, honorary professor of linguistics at the University of Wales and author of said book, tells the Times of London. His book essentially argues that, much like the hula hoop, we have nothing to fear from digital shorthand.

If I could make a tidy sum out of such a book, I might make a similar argument, too. But I would be wrong.

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