May 292013

If you’ve had teenagers in the past 15 to 20 years, or if you now have a teenager, I’d be willing to bet you have thought texting is killing the use of the English language.  What is this new way of communicating-  lol, jk, omg, btw, brb? When my kids started texting I was sure this was in fact the end of the English language as we know it!!

But if it wasn’t the end of the English language, I knew it was the end of something.  So, how do you explain the “language” of texting? How did this evolve-and where is it going?  While running through a TED play list I noticed a topic called, Txtng is killing language, jk, lol!! which inspired me to write this blog.

This begs a couple of questions: Should we write like we talk, or, talk like we write? Did Shakespeare talk like he writes? I hope not! What about the slang I used in high school, phrases like boss, wicked, gag-me, and gnarly – or more recent slang like dude (person), po-po (police) or the use of ya right at the end of a statement…. okay, I know, you get the message.

So how is this any different than the texting of today? Is it a different way to communicate or just a new media?  Should l urge my kids to text in complete sentences, and use proper punctuation?

Texting is communicating, communicating in a way that’s as close to how we really talk to one another as you can get. My youngest daughter is in graduate school at Texas State getting her master’s degree in communication studies. She’s not only a student, she is also teaching  assistant for one of the communication classes. As a young high school freshman (by the way, when she received her first phone) she started texting lol, omg and jk, and, I’ve got to tell you, it really bothered me. With that said, she excelled in English and writes flawlessly. So my premise that texting is killing language may be wrong!  I now know what was wrong with texting. It’s not the “txtng lol,” it’s the human interaction that’s missing!

In the movie “Up In The Air,” a guy broke up with his girlfriend by texting her!! Texting is communicating without immediate emotional repercussion. My mentor always told me you can say anything to anyone as long as you have a smile on your face. And he’s right.  Basic texting has no emotion unless you add a few smiley faces or explanation points.

Can someone send a text like this –   yur a B!! lol                        

First of all, whoever reads it better know the translation. Is the person texting angry or is it a complement? The fact is it could be both depending on the relationship. Would you know if the texter is kidding because of the smiley faces? And because there are two, does that mean they’re really kidding?

Fear not!!  Texting is not killing language, nor is it stumping your child’s ability to communicate properly.  The main point is, texting is not the only way to communicate, it’s just one way to communicate. Texting is different than writing, as writing is different than talking. As long as you know how to effectively communicate using all forms of communicating you’ll be fine.

And if you need help translating your children’s texting, here’s a guide to help you!

lol      laugh out loud – it’s not lots of love anymore!!

btw    by the way

brb     be right back

Jk      just kidding

omg   oh my gosh

r        are

u        you

C u soon!!


  One Response to “Txtng is Killing Language. JK, LOL!!”

  1. Initially, I couldn’t stand the text-driven abbreviations that we all so loving use now, but they’ve become part of my regular texting and social media vocabulary. Is this a sign of just how busy we all are that we can’t even be bothered to write out full words?

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