Mobile Future

Speaking in “textese”

One of my favorite commercials is the AT&T wireless one with a mother and daughter arguing over the number of texts the daughter is sending. What makes the commercial so funny to me is how the daughter speaks completely in txt abbreviations – "textese." The commercial shows an exaggeration of txt speak, but the exaggeration is so humorous because of how close it hits to home. While I’ve never been known to speak completely in text abbreviations, I do throw in an OMG every so often.

However, the proliferation of textese is proving to be less humorous to others. Apparently, the escalation of teenagers relying on txt abbreviations has led teachers and the public to worry about the fate of the English language. Thankfully, the written word is not yet in danger. According to a recent Newsweek article, ‘The Death of English (LOL),’ research has actually found that "children who texted – and who wielded plenty of abbreviations – scored higher on reading and vocabulary tests. In fact, the more adept they were at abbreviating, the better they did in spelling and writing."

So despite the estimation that 2.3 trillion text messages will be sent this year alone, the world has a ways to go before we are all speaking like the little girl in the commercial, which is G2NO (i.e. good to know).