The Advent Of Text Speak – A Good Thing Or A Nightmare?
ith the popularity of text messages since the end of the last century came the birth – or at least the mutation – of “text speak“.
This was a way of shortening words so that a message could be sent containing as much information as 160 characters would allow.
For some people, it was a way of squashing down a message so that it could be sent for as little money as possible.
For others, it became the way that they conversed in text form.
Even if the message itself was short enough to be spelt entirely correctly within the character limit, it was after all quicker to use text speak, and people took to it with an almost revolutionary zeal.
“R U comin out 2nite?” was a fairly common message – meaning, of course, “Are you coming out tonight“, which is less than 160 characters in itself.
There are many expressions that have now entered the English language as expressions that are used not only in text messages, but in email, online chat and even in letters and spoken conversations by some people.
“LOL”, meaning “laughing out loud”, and “OMG” meaning “oh my god” are now conversational staples for some.
There is no doubt that while some people enjoy the use of text speak, it has annoyed just as many others. It is seen as an example of rank stupidity by many, and of declining standards of English by others.
Of course, we are all free to speak as we want. But consider the man who thought that “LOL” meant “Lots of love” and sent a message saying “Grandma’s dead. Sorry. LOL, Dad x” and think about how quicker is not always better.