“Speech that came like leech-craft
And killed us almost, bleeding us white!
Textese that came like filthy-draft
And killed us almost, stating it right!”
When you stretch that sullen face when someone is typing, typing, typing to send this malnourished message,
“Plz cum asap. Ive sumthn 2 gve u”
Are your veins taut when you receive a cheesed off textese like ‘5n’ or is your reaction more likely a ‘lol’?
Welcome to the language where your nose runs and your feet smells.
Kudos to the 175 year old word ‘ok’ for surviving oodles of years. Today, I offer my sincere condolences for its demise. The poor alphabet ‘O’ has been viciously kicked out from the word ‘ok’. But what dampen my spirits more is the fate of the alphabet ‘s’ when it was ruthlessly replaced by ‘x’ in ‘thanks’. What did these poor alphabets do?
Well, let’s trace its history. When text messaging just came to light, charges were based on the length of the message. At that epoch, I give the green light for the prevalence of SMS language. I take no ego trip in demurring that. On the contrary, today, I rest assured that everyone has switched to the newfangled texting through social networks and I’m convinced that the length of the message plays no role here.
And even if you are arguing that words are trimmed to lessen the time and effort of texting, then what about people who send a fatuous ‘Okieees’ instead of ‘ok’ and ‘naaah’ for ‘no’? Have these words really boosted our texting time? What started with the idea of lessening the texting time has gradually evolved into a new language today. Youth take stiff-necked pride in using this SMS language, thereby deliberately blossoming into ace-high lexicographers.
Anyway the burning scenario doesn’t yield time to speak about the transformation of the native language to what we call today the ‘SMS language’ or the urban term ‘textese’. Why should this even be given a thought about? After all, does it have an impact in our everyday life? Indeed, yes. Trust me, given a pen and paper, half of today’s youth will write “2moro” instead of “tomorrow”. First standard kids, who have been taught about vowels, will never find its usage. Could this possibly produce illiterates – a gradual death of the English language?
In fact the rules of textese doesn’t allow the usage of vowels, punctuation, consonants, but put up with the use of numbers and alphabets interchangeably and most important, the abbreviations and acronyms. Kids of today would be unaccustomed with terms such as UNESCO, WHO, SAARC. But LOL, BRB, IDK is their piece of cake. The day is not too far when all these would show its colors in the exam paper. If this lingers on, spellings will be forgotten, the purity of the native English language will taint, and who knows, formal writing would just disappear in a decade.
You could possibly ask the English teachers who red-pen some ridiculously written words at the high school level. They are the ones who are witnessing the eternal rest of this language in front of their eyes, yet paralyzed to bring in a change.
Who bothers about grammar books today? The phrase “what are you doing?” has been used a zillion times in texting as “what doing?” Eventually it continues in speech as well. And when the English pedagogues hear it, what could they possibly do, than just say “OMG”!!!
There is no great pride in using words with flip-flop spelling. Texting is not loathsome, but textese is. It will hardly take a second more to type the missing ‘e’ in ‘hav’ and ‘a’ in ‘tke’. Today we have no inkling on how we are annihilating the native language. But in a decade, phrases such as “good morning”, “see you soon” would just be a remote memory of ‘the’ English language.
Maybe no one would have spoken about this issue yet. Or first of all, you might ask if it is even an issue. Usually people call something an ‘issue’ when it is no longer an issue. That issue would just be irreparable at that stage. Have mercy for the measly alphabets. Respect the lexicographers. Let that language survive. I thought I must give it a thought. Action is yours!
By: Abirami Arunachalam