Thursday, August 14, 2008

The texting mess

I was reading The Text Message Mess on aish.com and I decided that I completely disagree with the lady. She feels that shortening the words is a disgrace to the English language, but I feel that people like her are just old.

Here are a few points

1- Texting has a limit of 160 characters per message, if words are not shortened, multiple message will need to be sent, which not only is annoying, but may be expensive at the same time.

2- Shorthand has been around for ages. Its been a skill many people (mostly secrataries) had to learn and develop. Shorthand is even worse than texting. Atleast text messages use English letters, shorthand looks like a funky version of arabic with a drop of random characters.

3- Why don't people take into consideration the use of acronyms?

The author asked: "Can somebody explain what makes people so busy that they can't take the time to spell out simple words and phrases?"

Back to acronyns. Why are people in such a rush that they don't just write full names, and such out? Why not just spell out New York instead of the NY? Why oh why? Well, because we feel like it. Makes life easier.

We ARE in a rush. Teenagers are sneaking texts while in class, they don't want to get caught. They have to fit in as much info in as few texts as possible. Then there's always taking other people into consideration. When I receive text messages at work, I have to sneak them just like the teenagers. The shorter the message is to read, the easier it is for me, and the quicker it is for me to write back, the safer it is for me.

We live in an age of information and communication. We are constantly in a rush. That is just how the current era is.

I think this lady, as well as all the other ancients should leave their kids alone, its not like these kids are perverting the grammer, they're just messing with the spelling. English is not a set-in stone language when it comes to spelling (ie colour and color). Messing with spelling is no big deal. Its frum people who make up words such as "video machine" and say dumb things like "I was by her house for shabbos" instead of "I was at her house for shabbos" that should bother this woman and people like her.

19 comments:

DYS said...

I don't care how people your age write in texts. It does drive me crazy, but it's their prerogative. Personally, I like to see full sentences and it's annoying when friends who are just 3-4 years younger than me IM me in gobbledygook.

But teenagers can use their version of shorthand all they want to each other. Unfortunately, that kind of shorthand has been creeping into school assignments, according to teachers I've spoken to. It also pops up in younger people in corporate settings. It's not exactly helping one's career to write like that in an email to your boss.

However, teenagers shouldn't be texting in class, so saying that they need to write shorter so they can sneak texts in isn't the best argument.

Also, FS, writing but I feel that people like her are just old isn't very nice when you have readers with a range of ages. are you trying to start an age war by sounding like an obnoxious kid?

frumskeptic said...

dys: Sorry, I didn't mean to sound obnoxious or anything, but the way she wrote some of the things in the article was very much implying "maybe because I'm just old" type of attitude. so i went with it. I wasn't really ticked off, I wasn't ranting or anything.

Well, I am totally ok with teachers penalyzing students for using this new "shorthand" in their assignments, and bosses not particularly agreeing with it, but it shouldn't be the end of the world either way.

WHen one curses in the office or in emails, it annoys the boss too, no one complains when people curse with the argument "what if you curse at work?"

People have to watch and control themselves. Its just the way life is.

The Babysitter said...

As a side point if there's someone who doesn't understand all the text language, then there are sites to help translate.

Example: sumbdy hs no tym 2rite wrds --> Somebody has no time to write words

SMS Translator

Back to your post...
1) That's true you are limited in a number of characters, so I can see how that's applicable with cell phones. But when your using the computer its not that much hard work to type out full words.
2)I've never seen short hand, you have a point, but then its only necessary for when you have to write things very fast, like to write notes when somebody speaks. If your just communicating with someone then there's no rush.
3)Acronyms work because its universal and official. But even then for essays or school work they want you to write out everything, it just sound more professional. Like you can't use the word "can't" or "don't" it has to be "can not" and "do not". I actually got points off for that on some tests from a history teacher in HS.

But overall, I think there's a time and place for everything. Text lingo is ok for texting and your own personal uses. But shouldn't be carried into the professional world.

I actually e-mailed my mother once and said "ur funny". She didn't know "ur" stood for "you are". So she replied back saying "err funny".

The Babysitter said...

FrumSkeptic: with your cursing argument, I would say texting wins out, cause at least texting is permissible and isn't vulgar or anything. While cursing is plain wrong and shouldn't be used ever.

David_on_the_Lake said...

I totally agree with you...
languages..people..lifestyles evolve..
If you read anything written in English hundreds of years ago it would be very difficult to read.

Theres nothing sacred about language..Its simply a means of communication. And the development and evolution of the language is propelled by the needs of communication

Moshe said...

I'm gonna have to agree with babysitter on this, though my view on this is slightly different. Texting is ok in 2 settings and 2 settings only, texting from your phone and while chatting online. On a phone, it's easier and faster, though if you phone supports predictive text, it's probably easier and faster to type out whole words because you only to hit each key once. When chatting, your goal is to quickly convey your message and not to write out a whole paragraph, making the other person sit there for a minute like an idiot. Other than those, I want to see some normal writing, and that includes FB wall posts. You're not in a rush so spend an extra 30 seconds.

FS and babysitter, I think you would start complaining too if people messaged you using l33t.
7x71/\/g 1z f0r /\/00bz, l34r/\/ l33t f00

frumskeptic said...

Moshe: I hardly ever go on facebook. Most of the time when I do, I am in a rush. I sign on just to superpoke a friend, or change my status, or reply to my messages,so responding as quickly as possible is my goal.

"I think you would start complaining too if people messaged you using l33t.
7x71/\/g 1z f0r /\/00bz, l34r/\/ l33t f00"

Yes I would, but thats symbolic, totally different language.

OMG- Oh My Gd
TTYL- Talk to you later

I wouldn't need to take a whole new class to figure these things out, whereas to figure out what you wrote above, I'd need to do something like that.

Moshe said...

"no, no different, different in your mind"

mlevin said...

Babysitter - you're confusing contractions and abbreviations. Can't is a contractions and teachers do not allow them in essays. There are many abbreviations which we use on regular basis and teachers allow in essays. You are allowed to write TV instead of televisions. You are allowed to use fridge instead of refrigidator. You are allowed to use plane instead of an airplane and etc.

The Babysitter said...

Moshe:"7x71/\/g 1z f0r /\/00bz, l34r/\/ l33t f00"---> "texting is for noobz, learn leet too" is that the translation? Although this is the leet I got "73x71n6 15 f0r n008z, |34rn |337 700"

MLevin: right, that's true, there is a difference between the two. That's why abbreviations are accepted, because their standard. While contractions are just for convenience instead of saying proper words, and it sounds like slang. Like "I ain't gonna..." doesn't sound as formal as "I am not going to".

Moshe said...

Last word is "fool" and /\/ is n in super l33t.

My school teacher said that we can only use etc. if we showed that we knew what it stood for and how to spell it correctly. So if you wanted to use etc., it had to be, at least once, etc. (et cetera)

DYS said...

WHen one curses in the office or in emails, it annoys the boss too, no one complains when people curse with the argument "what if you curse at work?"

I concede, that's a good point.

DYS said...

While cursing is plain wrong and shouldn't be used ever.

Babysitter,

I don't like it when people use it in casual speech, but I think it's fine if it's reserved to situations that warrant it. For example, if you drop a heavy cabinet on your toe and the pain is excruciating, I think it's fine to spontaneously say "OH SH**!!!!"

DYS said...

When chatting, your goal is to quickly convey your message and not to write out a whole paragraph, making the other person sit there for a minute like an idiot. Other than those, I want to see some normal writing, and that includes FB wall posts. You're not in a rush so spend an extra 30 seconds.

wow - I actually agree with Moshe about something...

The Babysitter said...

Dys: well there's always other words you can substitute. You can make up your own word to say instead of cursing, it accomplishes the same purpose. Don't use Bad Language

DYS said...

babysitter,

The whole idea of profanity is an odd one. It's a series of words whose social connotations have evolved to the point that "polite" society agrees that they are "impolite" to say.

The words themselves have no powere and aren't good or bad in & of themselves. They're just sounds. What makes them "bad" words is simply the agreement of society.

For example, "bugger" is a rather quaint word to most Americans, if they're familiar with it at all. But in England, it's kind of equivalent to the F word.

So curse words are only defined as words one should not say. But if nobody ever said them, then they wouldn't be curse words at all. So the very action of saying those words in extreme situations is what allows you to classify them as bad.

The Babysitter said...

DYS: ok so the reasons why their bad because society made it such, doesn't take away from the fact that they became bad words and therefore shouldn't be said.

A word can still be bad even though people didn't use it, if that situation should ever arise. To kill still means to kill even if people aren't getting killed. To smile still means to smile even if people aren't smiling. It exists because someone had created it to serve that purpose.

Moshe said...

I think he's saying that the meaning of the word changes. You can compare curse words with slang. Slang depends on time. Slang from 100 years ago would either have no meaning to you or would mean something else, same for cursing.
Incidentally, bitch is a veterinary term. If a breeder or a vet says it, it's not a curse, if someone else says, we assume it is unless we know the person is referring to a dog.

The Babysitter said...

ok, now I understand, its how you use it that makes it bad. Like words could have different meanings. So if used in the correct setting then it won't be a bad word. But in either case if its used in the wrong setting then its a bad word. So it shouldn't be said in that setting.