Is texting really ruining our Language?
“Thou art ruining English!” said Shakespeare to the rest of the world.
Whenever I study Shakespeare (Yes, I do like an occasional look into good ol’ Will) I am flabbergasted by the language. It’s not about how tough it is, but more about how different it is from the English we speak today. It’s almost a different language, a fraternal twin if I may say so. The sentences are constructed differently and some words are changed so much that many would not recognize them for their original ancestors.
This was time displacement. Now, let’s talk distance. Then we can make a continuum. In India, Hindi changes from West UP to Bihar to the extent that a person might find it difficult to make conversation difficult.
If you have traveled widely in United States, just the way they speak English is different states may make your head spin
The changes are only in dialect, word choice and occasional sentence construction!
If we consider this a normal parameter of change in a language that happens gradually, then is the language that is now used in phones by youngsters going any different change?
Is adding “LOL” a downfall of language or addition of another way of expression?
Has addition of smilies reduced our range of emotions we can express or has it enhanced it? Is the number of words we used because of this or maybe we have learnt to use as many words in fewer characters (partially thanks to twitter)?
First I will tell you my stand. I do not use this new text message language. I was born in the era when a “where” was not “whr” or “too” was not “2” and I do not think I am going to adopt this new language any soon. I have been told many times that I am a slow texter because of this; many times and only after keyboard alternatives like Swiftkey and Swype came that I was able to come out of this tag. This though is my way of doing things. Not necessarily or even comfortable.
People who are even older than me are using the new hip style of writing so it’s more of a personal choice than anything else.
There are many people who condemn this writing in favor of the more elite English they sought. I, despite writing like them, am unable to adhere to their idea. More because of the reason I mentioned earlier.
Maybe Shakespeare might roll over in his grave looking at a paragraph of these elitists. Without any thou or thee, these people as well might have sprinkled garbage according to Shakespeare.
Second reason is that the single use of a language is to express our emotions and thoughts in a concise and complete manner. Someone once said – “A thought should never be ruined by expressing it in too many words.”
If we take this as the sole criteria of a language (many purists might scoff at the idea) then the new language fulfills the minimum requirement I say. People have written more than just twitter statements with this language. And anyone who says this language lacks consistency and adoption should relearn his understanding of a language. No language has complete consistency or adoption. Look at American and British English!
I know it might sound a contradictory article. I will just say that although I do not belong to the new short English writing generation, I believe that if this language wins enough hearts and is able to fulfill the minimum criteria then it is not ruining the language but enriching it in a new and fresh direction!
Would love to hear your thoughts on this…