Texting is not a verbal language. My son-in-law Steve says this to the young people whom he works with. But it probably won’t be long before some of it actually is.

Language is never stagnant. If you read a 20 year-old book, you will notice that some of the wording is dated. Words are incorporated into our language from other languages, cultures, and trends. The more we use new words, alter their meaning, or discontinue their use, the more likely they will become a part of our everyday language in their new form. There is a whole area that deals with this. Etymology is the study of the history of words – their origins and how they evolved.

Many of our newer words, or ways in which we use them, are associated with technology. My grandparents would have no idea what email or Internet means, and they used the words domain and reboot quite differently than we do today.

Texting also has created many words and prompted a shorthand young people know very well. As if written in code, those unfamiliar with texting have little to no clue as to the letters’ and symbols’ meanings. The danger is when we no longer know how to spell-out what they represent, such as R (are) and luv (love).

And yes, we will pick up many of these text words in our daily spoken and written language. B4 u know it the general public may simply say LOL (Lots of Laughs or Laughing out Loud) and BFF (Best Friends Forever). 🙂

©2013, Mary K. Doyle

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