Attitudes to new modes: Activity

From a BBC News article about the expression LOL entering the dictionary:

"There is a worrying trend of adults mimicking teen-speak," says Marie Clair of the Plain English Campaign, in the Daily Mail.

"They [adults] are using slang words and ignoring grammar. Their language is deteriorating."

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From the same BBC article about LOL, but this time a quotation from linguist Tony Thorne:

"Government educationalists get all worked up about words like LOL - they see them as substandard and unorthodox.

"But the small amount of research on this issue shows that kids who use slang abbreviations are the more articulate ones. It's called code switching."

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From a John Humphrys Daily Mail article about text messages:

One of the joys of the English language and one of the reasons it has been so successful in spreading across the globe is that it is infinitely adaptable.

If we see an Americanism we like, we snaffle it - and so we should. But texting and 'netspeak' are effectively different languages.

The danger - for young people especially - is that they will come to dominate. Our written language may end up as a series of ridiculous emoticons and everchanging abbreviations.

They (texters) are destroying it: pillaging our punctuation; savaging our sentences; raping our vocabulary. And they must be stopped.

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From a David Crystal Guardian article about text messaging:

Research has made it clear that the early media hysteria about the novelty (and thus the dangers) of text messaging was misplaced. In one American study, less than 20% of the text messages looked at showed abbreviated forms of any kind - about three per message. And in a Norwegian study, the proportion was even lower, with just 6% using abbreviations. In my own text collection, the figure is about 10%.

There is no disaster pending. We will not see a new generation of adults growing up unable to write proper English. The language as a whole will not decline. In texting what we are seeing, in a small way, is language in evolution.

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John Sutherland:

Texting is penmanship for illiterates.

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Jean Gross:

Teenagers are spending more time communicating through electronic media and text messaging, which is short and brief. We need to help today’s teenagers understand the difference between their textspeak and the formal language they need to succeed in life.

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Sean Coughlan:

Children who regularly use the abbreviated language of text messages are actually improving their ability to spell correctly.

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