Thursday, July 31, 2008

More word play

As a writer, I love to play with words. I cheer when new words are added to the dictionary: because it’s more words to play with in my stories. I get bored with the same old same old.
But texting is another matter. I’m old school, admittedly, and a stickler for correct grammar – I am a product of Catholic school, where the two main subjects were English and Religion. So it’s ingrained in me. When my new cell phone enabled texting, I found it too tedious to type out every word in its full correct spelling, so I fell into the old texting shorthand of “2” for “to” and so on. It didn’t corrupt my language skills. Other sticklers are finding that out, too. Rather than “vandalizing” the language as some predicted, texting may actually be enhancing language skills: and many texters eschew the shorthand altogether anyway.The article brings up some great points – that old-school sticklers may hold back evolution of language by protesting new words and new means of communicating them. Some teachers are adding texting to lessons to engage students: That’s great – many kids don’t have enough interest in studies because they’re too boring. Any means by which teachers can illuminate stale material is good by me. According to this New York Times article, if we want younger generations to read at all, electronic avenues are the way to go:
I still love language, but now I acknowledge that there are some uses for alternate varieties of it. As anyone who’s learned to write can tell you, though -- first you have to learn the rules before you can break ‘em.

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