By Tim Zuspan for the YJ
Texting is a new language. According to experts, since 2010 it’s now the prominent form of communication.
It’s form is not a completely new concept. In the 19th century, the telegraph was the prominent form of communication. Like texting, it was composed of short phrases and fragmented sentences.
But not everyone embraces the acronyms and phrases of today’s telegraph. Chandler O’Brien says texting is the communication he uses most.
“I text every single day no matter what,” the 20-year-old said. “The quantity differs, but you can guarantee I’ll send at least one text a day, which I think can be said of most people.”
On the other end of the texting spectrum is 71-year-old Jerry McGrew. His texting is irregular. He goes several days without texting. And he writes sentences and paragraphs.
His style and words in texting is a disadvantage when messaging young people, he acknowledges.
“I’m glad I’m retired because I don’t think I couls keep up today,” McGrew said. “Every text I send seems like a letter or essay. That’s the way I was always taught to write. It’s a habit.”
Just as McGrew’s style of writing is a hard habit for him to break, so is O’Brien’s texting.
“Writing papers from school — well writing in general —is difficult because of texting,” O’Brien said. “I have to proofread my writing several times to ensure I don’t use fragments or put like the letter ‘u’ for ‘you’.”
O’Brien believes “auto correct” poses problem in the language and grammar development for kids.
“I don’t know how they are going to learn to write,” O’Brien said. “If they can’t visualize their mistakes because they’re being automatically corrected, I don’t know how they will learn.”
The language of the telegraph passed. He thinks the influence of texting on language is irreversible.
“Everyone from business professionals to kids are doing it,” O’Brien said. “I think it’s changed the English language and grammar forever. I don’t see it fading away or ending anytime within the next 50 years.”