Txt 4 u
Sending SMS (‘short message service’) messages on mobile phones is one of the communications phenomena of our day. The chances are that, since you last checked out this blog, some 3 billion text messages will have been sent and received across the world. And let us be frank, many of them will have been pretty annoying. I have no problem with texting per se – I do so myself, and keep in touch with some friends that way – but the shorthand used by many people is, I fear, doing terrible things to their capacity to express themselves in an articulate way in writing. As texts are restricted to 160 characters, people got creative about how to cram more information into that space. And so we had the dawn of the age of the txt; succinct messaging, just 4 u.
People sometimes suggest to me that my complaint is just part of the nostalgia that comes with growing older – that Shakespeare would have been horrified if he had been able to read Jane Austen and would have found her style to be lamentable – and that therefore texting is nothing other than the new mode of communication and that we should be making the best of it. I don’t think so. I don’t look forward to billions of Chinese learning to use txt English and for it to become the lingua franca of the world.
But then again, maybe I am just getting old… Or possibly even 2 old. That would not be so gr8.