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…

[img src]

  1. Altaf says

    Another interesting word in telugu is ‘Runam’ (you may understand if I tell you the meaning in English. Its like Debt)
    In all Indian languages it is written in two alphabets – Ru and Nam. Both Ru and Nam used to be different alphabets.
    There was a different ‘Ru’ than the ‘Ra’ which we use to say ‘Sorry’, ‘Saree’. The different ‘Ru’ was particularly used in word ‘Runam’. Now it is gone.
    There was a differnt ‘Na’ to pronounce in Runam. It was different from the ‘Na’ which we use today to say Nagaland or Navi Dilli. The other ‘Na’ was particularly used in words like Runam, Phanam etc.
    Both ‘Ru’ and ‘Na’ were gone.

  2. Altaf says

    @ The Big K, Ha ha ha a nice one.

    In this era, every thing “evolves”. Now we have to see if this “evolution” is natural or unnatural.

    By the time Englishmen taught English, thy, thau, thee were not even there. So the English as we have known has evolved naturally from thy, thau, thee to you, me etc.

    I feel Kunal has snatched words from my mouth when he says ‘I was born in an era when a ‘where’ is not ‘whr’. I too find it uncomfortable when recieve such messages. It takes me some time as to guess what the sender might have wanted to say then compose words against each word in text and understand the complete sentence.

    I personally feel this is ‘unnatural evolution’ caused by sudden clouding of technology on the language. This is not even to be called ‘unnatural evolution’. It is mutation like in X-Men.

    It is happening with all languages. In telugu, we were taught 56 alphabets. Now people are using only 48 or so alphabets. Atleast I used to sea them in news papers some times. Now they are completely gone. For example a girls name is ‘Sarala’ It used to be with a different ‘la’ with different sound. Now the name is written, spoken, understood like plain Sarala. Same with other alphabets. There used to be two types of ‘Sa’. One like in Sagar and the other like in Desh (like you know, country). Earlier they used to pronounce like Des with the other ‘Sa’. Now they are saying Desh like ‘Sh’. Its so wrong. But we can not swin against the tide.

    When I ask my nephews to be particular, they run away as if I am acting like a Head Master.

    I hope the future generations will manage their lives fine with their mutated languages. As long as it wont cause any problems (like in legal documents or in contracts) its OK.

    Just my two paisa :)

  3. The Big K says

    English isn’t our language. :-) . Let’s destroy it.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

who's online