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Txt spk

by: Romany Howes (7 September 2009)

If like me, you register concern about the level of grammatical accuracy in the texting process, then rest assured. It was explained to me by a 16 year old whose spelling and grammar drove me to distraction.

It is, according to him, an expression of youth … he likes spelling ‘way’ with two ‘y’s because he can! And he likes to abbreviate words because he can send out longer texts, faster. He likes to use ‘u’ and ‘lol’ and ‘brb’ because it is quick, instantly recognised and universal.

He does not see the need for accurate grammar in what is effectively, today’s version of shorthand. It is, in his eyes, an individual expression that he and his friends can personalise.

And he progressed with the argument: would I prefer if he dyed his hair purple and sported a Mohican hairstyle instead? Would I prefer him to be heavily tattooed and pierced? As I expressed horror at the image, he wound up his argument by saying that it was me who must get up to date with the times because, and his words, “times they are a-changing…”

So I tried texting his way and lo, I was pleasantly surprised. It was much faster, much quicker and I relished the opportunity to learn what is effectively, a new language. Goin 2 try it al da tme now. Sves tme, easi 2 do n evry1 nos wat I sayin.

Ands by the way, the 16 year old got 100% in his English grammar paper in his recent GSCE examinations. Maybe we can learn a thing or two from the youth of today.

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