Txt in contxt

I’ve yet to convert fully to the texting lifestyle (mostly due to cost and thumb dexterity) but I agree that it’s an opportunity for linguistic innovation rather than destruction. You have to know the norms to be able to creatively flaunt them.

But the need to save time and energy is by no means the whole story of texting. When we look at some texts, they are linguistically quite complex. There are an extraordinary number of ways in which people play with language – creating riddles, solving crosswords, playing Scrabble, inventing new words. Professional writers do the same – providing catchy copy for advertising slogans, thinking up puns in newspaper headlines, and writing poems, novels and plays. Children quickly learn that one of the most enjoyable things you can do with language is to play with its sounds, words, grammar – and spelling.

The drive to be playful is there when we text, and it is hugely powerful. Within two or three years of the arrival of texting, it developed a ludic dimension. In short, it’s fun.


from ”2b or not 2b?”, by linguistics professor David Crystal, guardian.co.uk, 5 July 2008 :: via languagehat.com

Originally published at culture-making.com.

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