Tech Talk: The New Language of Text Messaging

There is stuff UNTK. PPL have been talking & AFAIK they think U should do it 😉

texting wtf text messaging

This cryptic CIA-like message probably makes sense to most of you who regularly use acronyms, abbreviations and emoticons in your online chats and text messaging. But as these new words, phrases and techniques of expression worm their way into everyday use, how will they affect our language?

When something new comes along we develop specific linguistic (language) and semiotic (sign) systems to deal with it, so we can effectively participate in conversations. Before Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone in 1876, “I’m on hold” and “the line is busy” might have been very confusing statements.

“Language is never fixed—it is constantly evolving to reflect changes in society,” says Dr. Neil Randall in “A Report on the Language of the Keyboard Generation,” conducted earlier this year by MSN.CA. “Online culture has bred a new language that allows for greater creativity and expression. People are adapting to online communication and as a result have learned to speak with their fingers,” he says.

cell phone texting wtf Cellphone Text Lingo

This cyberspace lingo is not just a shortcut for exchanging messages but a unique language that combines writing and speaking in an unprecedented way.

When emoticons like :-), 😛 and 😉 are used, attitude and tone of voice can be read into the message allowing the reader to get a truer sense of what you’re trying to say. Right now, the traditional English language offers the expressive-but-lonely exclamation mark. By using emoticons you can convey surprise :-o, incoherence :- S, laughing 😀 and even the need for a hug [ ] with only a few strokes on the keyboard.

In today’s e-world of instant messaging, clarity rules and speed is king. If you typed out the long version of the cryptic note above, you’d get: There is stuff you need to know. People have been talking and as far as I know they think you should do it (wink). Talk to you later (smile).

As this graphic and condensed means of communication becomes more mainstream, the written language is morphing into something new. But are we ready, as a society, to reconfigure the familiar? Absolutely. We have done it so many times and it has become so widely accepted that we have almost for gotten many of our other “shortcuts”: exam=examination, won’t=will not, Dr.=doctor, km=kilometres, scuba=self-contained underwater breathing apparatus, x=multiplied by and $=dollar. But would Shakespeare’s Hamlet still be the same if it were translated into “2B or N2B? That is the ?”


From Faze Magazine Issue #10

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