Text spelling

Uberking   Thursday, September 16, 2004, 09:42 GMT
Hey what do you all think of the way the english language is evolving through the ever-increasing use of text messages? Do you think this is going to change it forever or is it just a phase?

Hay wat uz thnk of da wy da englsh lang iz evolvn thru da eva incresin use of txt mesges? do ya thnk dis iz guna chnge it foreva or iz it jst a faze?
Smith   Thursday, September 16, 2004, 10:10 GMT
''Hay wat uz thnk of da wy da englsh lang iz evolvn thru da eva incresin use of txt mesges? do ya thnk dis iz guna chnge it foreva or iz it jst a faze? ''

That looks horrible.
Mi5 Mick   Thursday, September 16, 2004, 11:44 GMT
I think it's normal and happens for all languages; I doubt it will change anything. It's just too damn frustrating to key in complete phrases and words into a limited character space on a measly keypad. When technology improves and texting is better facilitated, there will no longer be a need to abbreviate messages crudely.
Sanja   Thursday, September 16, 2004, 14:10 GMT
I think it's laziness as well, maybe even more than limited space. Even if there was as much space as you want, some people would still abbreviate (take Internet as a proof).
Mi5 Mick   Thursday, September 16, 2004, 14:34 GMT
Not so much the character space (there's enough: 256), but the fact that keys are small on mobile phones and you have to press each one so many times. The more messages you send, the more you simplify.

Even those with a pen that you touch the screen with, are fiddly.
Mi5 Mick   Thursday, September 16, 2004, 14:40 GMT
Remember they're simple text messages, not formal modes of writing.
Damian   Thursday, September 16, 2004, 21:15 GMT
Lstn up.mob phns r gr8 n essntl & cnt do wtht them! spce ltd&csts mney so hv 2 do txtspk.OK? Chrs m8! ;-)
Dulcinea del Toboso   Thursday, September 16, 2004, 21:33 GMT
Eventually there will be software in the phone that converts a few button presses into the expanded word.

Mine already does this to some extent. For example, to get "listen", I tapped [5][4][7][8][3][6] and, as I typed, the software figured out the only possible word was "listen". For quick typing, you could enter something like "lstn", as Damian has done above, and it would also find the correct word.
Easterner   Friday, September 17, 2004, 06:33 GMT
Imaginary (but possible) inscription on an Elizabethan coin:

Eliz. Dei Gr. Reg. A.D. MDC

You can also find loads of such inscriptions on old buildings and I'm sure on old coins and in documents too. So what is really new about text spelling?
Damian   Friday, September 17, 2004, 12:54 GMT
sum ppl sms txt in exms & mkng emnrs mad - tryng 2 stp it b4 its 2 l8 but mayb 2 l8 alrdy-hre 2 sty ;-)
Mxsmanic   Friday, September 17, 2004, 17:47 GMT
Text messaging will have no lasting effect on English, any more than CB radio did. About 99.99999% of all English speakers have never heard of text messaging and never will.
Mi5 Mick   Saturday, September 18, 2004, 01:26 GMT
What do you mean by 99.99999%? Is this an episode out of the Twilight Zone?

There'd be at least 50 mobile/cell phone users per 100 inhabitants in English speaking countries. From personal experience, every person I know has one. If they didn't, they'd know what text messaging was.

You've never heard of texting? It's like a fax transmission, minus the paper and on a small readout screen.
mjd   Saturday, September 18, 2004, 04:50 GMT
"About 99.99999% of all English speakers have never heard of text messaging and never will."

Yeah, that puzzled me too. Please, everyone and their mother has a cellphone these days....text message addiction is at an all time high.

As for the abbreviations...Generally I write things out as they should be, but sometimes on the instant messenger I'll use "u" for "you" or "r" for "are," "plz" for "please" etc. The key is knowing when it's appropriate to write like that and when it's not. It's kind of funny how all of those chat abbreviations have become so commonplace: "ttyl," "lmao," "brb," "gtg" etc. Dictionary.com even has them listed.
Mxsmanic   Saturday, September 18, 2004, 06:07 GMT
This is a classic example of people believing that their own microcosm of the world is representative of the planet as a whole.

The very vast majority of English speakers have never sent a text message on a cell phone and never will. There is no evidence to indicate that text messaging will spread to any extent outside of certain segments of society, and even if it did, by the time it could do so, other technologies will have replaced it.

Very few people are "addicted" to text messaging. As I've said, most people have never had any exposure to it. There are hundreds of millions of English speakers in the world, most of whom have never used a cell phone for voice communication, much less text messages.

Chat abbreviations are not commonplace, outside of chat.

Never assume that the habits of you and your entourage accurately reflect the habits of the universe.

It reminds me of the reaction I've occasionally gotten from Americans when I tell them I live in Europe. They ask questions like, "Hey, I knew a guy named Bob from thereā€”do you know him?" or "Who do they think will win the Super Bowl over there?"
SteveK   Saturday, September 18, 2004, 06:08 GMT
I think Mxsmanic is right. If not 99.9% certainly 90% of people do not use text messaging and probably will not.