Gentleman and scholar: Txt spk an da English language
Every day, loads upon millions of text messages are sent through the ethereal abyss that is cyberspace, all little increments of projected information given and received in an instant.
With the dawn of cellular technology, the ridiculous notion of opening a keypad and using one’s index finger to punch in a consecutive code of numbers only to hear a magical voice directly responding to words that come out of the mouth of the speaker has slowly dwindled, only to be replaced by one’s use of the thumbs to punch in a combination of letters that eventually forms into what I like to call “discourse.”
Granted, I am an English major, and one of the few schmucks on this campus will refer to “discourse” as “conversation,” but I would hardly call it that because of some of the messages that I have received since owning this magical piece of alien technology I like to call a Smart Phone.
I remember one day when my grandmother sent me one of the most heartfelt conveyances of emotion I have ever experienced, via text.
And the only reason that the magnitude of this heartfelt message was disenchanted was the methodology by which she decided to deliver the message. Allow me to reiterate how it went:
“i luv u so much an no mattr wat u will aways b my bby boy. jus no tht u r mammys bby an nuttin wil evr chang tht.”
Unfortunately, I failed to fully process the level of sentimentality she was attempting to get across due to the degenerative nature of the message’s grammar and punctuation, or total lack thereof. Instead of thinking “wow, that was really deep and heartwarming,” I thought to myself “my God, woman, it’s amazing you even made it past the 8th grade before dropping out.”
Nevertheless, I will be the first to say that I love my mammy with all my heart and I will indeed always be her baby boy, but it does not change the fact that it was at this moment that I began to become fully aware of how texting is the soul bane to the existence of language, threatening to completely dismantle everything that it stands for.
The soul nature of language is to convey information at a level that everyone can fully understand and comprehend, despite its pedantic semantics and arbitrariness.
Granted, I will be the first one to spit in the face of elitist scholars of prescriptivist grammar, believing that sentences should never be started with a coordinating conjunction, or that ever popular “y’all” should never be uttered within polite society. However, when it takes me longer to actually read a message that has been afflicted with the infection known has “text speak” than it takes for me to type out an eloquent, articulate bit of thought with correct spelling and punctuation, then we as a society are faced with a hell of a problem.
Like I said, English majors have been notorious to be what people like to refer to as “grammar Nazi’s,” but this is not the case.
For starters, I do not walk around sneering at those that may have a drawl or adhere to a specific dialect that differs from my own use of the English lexis, but I will silently curse those that vocalize “lol” or “omg,” due to the fact that I simply hate these little generational colloquialisms that have emerged as a result of “text speak.”
I believe that they should go the way of the Dodo bird and become extinct altogether, an occurrence of what I like to call “linguicide.”
But the problem persists; how can we halt this bastardization of the English language? How will we ever bring to a hiatus the degeneration of the very method of communication that separates civilized society from the primates?
The answer to these obviously rhetorical questions is that we simply cannot. We are doomed to witness this dismantling of communication as cellular technology becomes increasingly more prominent within the 21st century, with it the paralleled increased of the damnable “text speak.”
The only remedy to this ailment is to merely adjust to the sub-linguistic evolution occurring within cellular communication.
But do not despair, my friends. We should rejoice in our being forced to adjust to this change. Fie on the pedants of grammar.
They are the ones that will go the way of all extinct races, because they are the ones that are failing to adapt to this linguistic evolution occurring around us.
Being forced to interpret this newly developed form of communication will only refine our skills and qualities of understanding in adapting to this change, and quite honestly, that is much more relevant than studying outdated classical Greek rhetoric, or revising a God-awful freshman composition paper focusing on the benefits of marijuana legalization or writing a technical manual on how a toddler should use the toilet when they have outgrown diapers.
Yes, it is this degeneration of language that I will be able to sink my teeth into, because I am the degenerate scholar that just loves to look into bastardizations of the English language.