Txtng | David Crystal

Summary of: Txtng: The Gr8 Db8
By: David Crystal


Dive into the fascinating world of texting as explored in Txtng: The Gr8 Db8 by David Crystal. Discover the history and creativity behind this popular communication method, as it continues to evolve and shape our lives. Unravel the myths surrounding text language and morality, traverse the journey from Egyptian hieroglyphs to modern emoticons, and contemplate the demographics and cultural significance that texting now holds. Delve deeper into the book summary to unveil the incredible influence that texting has on our daily lives, language, and even self-expression.

The Impact of Text Messaging on Society

Text messaging has become the preferred method of communication for many people, with billions of texts being sent each day. This cell-phone boom has led to the development of a new texting language and caused concerns about the decline of standard written English. However, financial analysts view this as an opportunity to make big money, with the SMS business estimated at $70 billion in 2005. The growth of cell phone usage is not limited to one country, with places like Sweden, Hong-Kong, and Italy having more cell-phone subscriptions than people. Even areas where cell phones were rare, like Africa, have caught up. The newfound popularity of texting has led to a moral panic as some adults view this new language as a threat to society and the English language. This article delves into the history, impact, and controversy caused by the rise of text messaging.

Texting as Poetry

Texting isn’t just a form of communication; it’s a creative outlet. The Guardian’s SMS poetry competition challenged writers to compose poems under 160 characters. Over 7,500 submissions were received, and the winning composition conveyed the frustration of an African student struggling to balance texting with traditional writing. Interestingly, the competition showed that not all SMS poems need abbreviations, and the special prize for the most creative use of abbreviations went to Julia Bird’s “14: a txt msg poM.” So, the next time someone criticizes texting, remind them of its potential for poetic self-expression.

The Art of Abbreviations

The art of abbreviating has been around for centuries, even in ancient civilizations like the Egyptians who used rebuses โ€“ a message made up of pictures representing certain words. The growth of texting, with letters, numbers, and pictures being used to create all sorts of abbreviations, draws a lot of criticism. However, it is unlikely that it will destroy the English language. The beauty of abbreviations simplifies words, making them shorter and more comfortable to understand. Common abbreviations use one letter or a number as a phonetic stand-in for a simple word. Longer words such as “before” become “b4,” “today” becomes “2day,” or several “Zs” if we’re feeling sleepy. Texting has also contributed to written communication by creating emoticons, which are a combination of punctuation symbols that create a simple or elaborate smiley face, such as ๐Ÿ™‚ or (^_^), or a frown, such as ๐Ÿ™ if we feel unhappy. So, with abbreviations as a prominent feature of language, people can express themselves more concisely and creatively.

The Evolution of Texting

The use of texting has evolved throughout the years, particularly with the rise of technology. Traditional cell-phones only offered a limited number of keys, which created a challenge for texting. Texting abbreviations and symbols provided a solution for quick messaging, but it was not until predictive texting was introduced that it was widely adopted. However, this system was far from perfect as it often suggested the wrong words. As an alternative, people resorted to using abbreviations or spelling words out. Overall, while certain individuals may have claimed to never participate in trends like texting, it has inevitably become a prevalent form of communication worldwide.

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