Does 'Text Messaging' Corrupt English?

by Hannah Punitha on Sep 17 2008 6:05 PM

While purists claim that text messaging is deteriorating English language, a linguist David Crystal has slammed the belief in his recent book 'Txtng: The GR8 DB8'.

The book claims that less than 10 per cent of the words in text messages use abbreviated forms, reports

He found that no matter how much people get addicted to test messaging, still majority of the words used in the average text message use abbreviated forms.

Crystal said that using abbreviations goes back to the time when English was a dialect of old Saxon, 1000 years ago.

People in a hurry have always wanted shorthand ways of saying things, and that's what is happening today. However, many experts believe that texting language came about due to the constraints of the medium.

He said that the fear of English being corrupted originated from a report in the British media in 2003, which was reported in Australia at the time. It talked about a child, who apparently handed over a school essay written entirely in text-speak.

The story was played again n again on Talkback radio, print and TV.

However, when crystal searched through the archives, he found that the incident never actually happened.

It was an urban myth, much like the myth that English is in decline due to the abuses of technology.