Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Confessions of a texter

by Dove

Can you say polar opposites?? Mavis never texts. I never stop. I love the convenience of being able to say something quickly to someone and not having to commit to an entire conversation. I know all the arguments against texting, but for me it works.

One of the happy parts of every day for me is playing name that tune (though it's really name those lyrics) with my cousin. He & I text lyrics back & forth to test one another's musical knowledge. It's fun.

I do, however, wonder what will happen 2 the English language as the younger generation grows up? Do u think it will trasn4m into something else w/the advent of txting??

I kinda worry.

4 instance...b/c I abbreviate some words (albeit not as many as other people) when I'm texting, I sometimes find myself annoyed when I'm on the real keyboard & have to type out you instead of u, for instead of 4, be instead of b, etc.

I imagine that thru the course of history there have been all sorts of events (war, inquisitions, expansion of living space, etc) that have caused languages to morph. I'm no linguist, so I can't speak w/authority on that subject, but I just wonder if the recent advent of cellular telephones will have a long lasting impact on the future of languages in modern civilizations.

here's a sampling of sum txts on my phone:

  • Glad I got 2 c u
  • C u in the mo
  • Btw, r u done?
  • u have 2 b kidding me
  • R u biz w/kidz or can i run sum’n by u reel quik?
  • Ur welcome & thx 4 the offer
  • up 2 u

u get my point. mine are relatively mild. sum peeps delete evry pssble charcter & it cn b supr anoyin'.

and what if we bcome so accustom 2 using emoticons that we don't have 2 use creativity in our words to convey emotion? i wonder if sum of the poetic quality of our prose will b lost. 4 instance, this simple sentence could be interpreted different ways depending on the face that follows it:

later :)
later :(
later ;)

And speaking of emoticons...I have this strange aversion to people using noses on their virtual faces. :) is infinitely better than :-). Oh that nose bothers me. I recognize the ridiculousness of that though. It's just a hyphen.

I am also interested in the varying emoticons from different countries. Why do we do sideways faces? I have a friend in France who always uses these: *_* & ^_^ Frankly, I think they are superior to ours, but we don't use them. Check out this one from Japan: (;_;) That is someone crying. My daughter is partial to sending this to people:


Yes, my 10 year old texts. I thought I would never allow my young kids to have a cell phone, but it became a necessity and now they are texting fiends.

As a sociologist, I'm curious about how our text (not texts) will appear a couple decades from now. I don't think I'm the only person wondering about it. I recently noticed on Amazon that Stephen King has a new book coming out called UR and I believe it's about our morphing prose. What is ur prediction about the future of our written word???


we chirp said...

No one has commented yet? This post is too funny. And it almost gave me an anxiety attack to read with all the textual contractions! I agree with you about the French faces, much better. If I ever become a texter, I'm using those. And you #1 dot has mad skillz with the text art.

Beth said...

Too funny! What would I do without texting? How does Mavis do it without texting. Dove, I'll text you 2moro.

Dove said...

Mavis, FYI...that was my 50-somethingish aunt. Time to get out of Bedrock!

Christy said...

Maybe I'm too old (34), but I don't get it. I'd much rather talk on the phone than text. Also, back when I was a worker bee I HAD to have a blackberry on me all the time and I really HATED that. Maybe texting is too much like the man looking over my shoulder for me.

Leslie said...

I'm NOT a die hard texter...as I mentioned below. I can't even chime in on your presented question here, it takes far too much thinking. However, I too despise the noses. Especially these ones :0)


suzana said...

I love to text! I would rather text than talk on the phone almost anytime! But I really don't even text that much. Mostly to you, Dove!
I do worry a lot about texting and driving! It scares me to death that people actually do it all the time. If I feel that I absolutely HAVE to reply I pull over. And I just want to remind everyone else to do the same! PLEEEEASE!
Oh, and I don't like noses either, glad you brought that up :)