Is Texting a Scourge to Communication?

Linguist John McWhorter doesn’t think so.  He considers it the closest thing to speaking in written form – or basically fingered speech.  McWhorter actually states the case for texting as a parallel language, LOL, where it’s truncations and slashes rendering its users as bilingual in a sense.

So “lol” has evolved into a “pragmatic particle”, ay?  (And perhaps “haha” too.)  And “slash” is a graceful way of changing the topic.  Yeh, that’s the ticket.  The slash as a new information marker.

I’m not so convinced about the virtues of slanguage, but at some point most “kids” make the transition toward more fluidity.  My impression is that this seriously occurs either during college, particularly if one has to take a public speaking course, or in the workplace if the culture of communication isn’t laden with the likes of like.

Psycholinguists assert that filler words like “uh,” “um,” “you know,” “I mean,” and “like” aren’t always just dimwitted lapses.  But listen to running conversations about like you know what I’m sayin’, and it’s like hard to imagine like a point where you know like it really does start to sound like dimwitted.  So while not all oral like-aholics are dull, I suspect you’ll admit that very few well-spoken individuals pepper their conversations with “like” fillers.  You know what I’m sayin’?

About Leonard J. Press, O.D., FAAO, FCOVD

Developmental Optometry is my passion as well as occupation. Blogging allows me to share thoughts in a unique visual style.
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3 Responses to Is Texting a Scourge to Communication?

  1. doctuhdon says:

    I blame Moon Unit Zappa !!!

    Language Snob in Los Angeles

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