Txtng: The Gr8 Db8 (Google eBook)

Front Cover
Oxford University Press, Jul 10, 2008 - Computers - 256 pages
2 Reviews
This book takes a long hard look at the text-messaging phenomenon and its effects on literacy, language, and society. Young people who seem to spend much of their time texting sometimes appear unable or unwilling to write much else. Media outrage has ensued. "It is bleak, bald, sad shorthand," writes a commentator in the UK Guardian. "It masks dyslexia, poor spelling, and mental laziness." Exam answers using textese and reports that examiners find them acceptable have led to headlines in the tabloids and leaders in the qualities. Do young people text as much as people think? Do adults? Does texting spell the end of literacy? Is there a panic in the media? David Crystal looks at the evidence. He investigates how texting began and who uses it, why and what for. He shows how to interpret its mix of pictograms, logograms, abbreviations, symbols, and wordplay, and how it works in different languages. He explores the ways similar devices have been used in different eras and discovers that the texting system of conveying sounds and meaning goes back a long way, all the way in fact to the origins of writing - and he concludes that far from hindering literacy, texting may turn out to help it.
  

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i am luqman

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I am one of those people who never got into the whole texting craze, primarily because I hardly ever use my cell phone and I rarely chat with my friends online. Even when I do, I try to write in full sentences and be as clear in my prose as possible. However, I am not beyond ever condescending to the new texting abbreviations, and would occasionally pepper my chats with LOL, ROTFL, and of course ', nor would I begrudge my interlocutors when they do the same. So, I am not someone who gets too flustered with texting as such. It's texting that happens in inappropriate settings that really gets to me. I like to interact with people in various online forums, and when they write whole essays in txt-speak, and I find myself spending more time decoding what they wrote than on the content of their arguments, then I take an exception to this whole business of texting.
I am writing all this in order to give you my overall perspective on texting prior to reading this book. My attitude could be summed up as ambivalent to weary. So I decided to pick up this book and learn more about texting from a professional linguist, someone who has invested a great deal of time to study texting habits and put it in a perspective of language use and development in general. And for the most part, David Crystal does a wonderful job at that. The book is filled with nice and illuminating examples, the parallels to previous changes in our use of language were appropriate and thought provoking. The book does a great job in convincing me that there is really nothing either deviant or inappropriate about how texting came to be. And I was also convinced that people who txt are not ruining the English language nor are they hurting their own writing skills. However, the book does not deal at all with the use of texting in online discussion forums, my own personal pet peeve. But other than that, it is a very well written book. It also provides an illuminating and handy glossary of main terms, as well a list of text abbreviations from eleven different languages. These are fun to look at and an interesting glimpse into how other languages deal with texting.
If you ever have to come across texting in your daily life (and who doesn't these days), and whatever your attitude to texting may be, you could benefit from reading this interesting little book.
 

Contents

How weird is texting?
11
What makes texting distinctive?
35
Why do they do it?
63
Who texts?
87
What do they text about?
101
How do other languages do it?
121
Why all the fuss?
149
Glossary
176
English text abbreviations
189
Text abbreviations in eleven languages
199
Index
231
Copyright

Common terms and phrases