9/9 “Will We Stop Speaking and Just Text” – Zach Coriarty

In “Will We Stop Speaking and Just Text”, Harbeck argues that the way we text has become a language on its own front and that this new language is beginning to take over modern speech.

Harbeck gives a few examples of this, such as “zomg wtfffffff im going 2 pwn you!!!!1111 lololol”, which is a phrase made of common modern texting semantics. He makes it clear that this is something that has risen as a way to illustrate emotion in an arena where you can’t see emotion; “zomg”, for example, is meant to convey an urgent “omg” by including a z, which is right next to the shift key, taking it one step further than “OMG”; “wtfffffff” is meant to impart emphasis on its visual delivery, and so on. Beyond this, Harbeck introduces the idea of emoticons and emojis, which are meant to continue to provide emotional context. He also goes on to discuss whether or not new generations will start to speak like this, or write professionally like this, to which he explains that it is unlikely for such an informal way of texting to become apparent in professional settings. This is due to the fact that children still learn to speak and write the way adults today do, so they will know to always go back to that style when in a formal setting.

Harbeck talks about some interesting points that seem to affect everyone, which makes his perspective easy to understand. As a recent teenager and avid texter, I agree that texting takes a form that strays further and further from the English I learned in class, however, I also know that anything I read outside from texting is still traditional English and I don’t see that changing any time soon. The reason I think this is because in order to get a job at most prestigious companies you must be able to deliver yourself as a professional person, so there is still a lot of value in communicating professionally.

3 thoughts on “9/9 “Will We Stop Speaking and Just Text” – Zach Coriarty

  1. I appreciated reading your blog post, Zach. I think that texting has definitely become a language of its own as we have become accustomed to the slang and abbreviations that are unique to instant messaging. At the same time, I also do not see texting language taking over modern language completely. I think there is a difference between talking casually and talking in “text speak.” Casual language can be approachable, effective, and fun while still being able to convey a level of professionalism. For example, I had a Communications internship over the summer for an insurance company and a big initiative of theirs was undertaking a tone shift in their language from stiff/uptight to casual/approachable. The casual/approachable tone that the company was trying to implement was nowhere near how one would text though. Overall, I agree with your points and think that the language of instant messaging has become very obvious (but won’t take over).

  2. I agree with you in that texting language is unlikely to completely take over modern language. While casually writing to your friends is an easy way to get your point across, it’s not as easy to do so in more formal situations, such as in the classroom or, like you mentioned, in a job interview. I doubt I’d be hired if I emailed a company manager saying “lol” or “ttyl,” etc. While texting language is useful, it’s primarily useful in casual conversations and can make a bad impression in more serious situations.

  3. I also read this article and agree with your thoughts on this subject. I found it very surprising at first to think that although texting has become such a significant norm in our lives, we know how to change the ways in which we speak and write when necessary, just like I am doing now. However, I think it makes complete sense that we recognize the situations when texting or when doing assignments that require full and concise sentences. I personally will text my friends in the chaotic way that Harbeck describes, and abbreviate, such as “u” instead of “you”. But when I text, say, my mom or a grandparent, I tend to use punctuation, capitalization and more. I realize to a smaller extent that this is what Harbeck meant when he wrote this article. I am still unclear if this quality is for everyone, as we grew up with and without the technology boom in our lives. For younger generations who only know the technological world we live in now, I wonder if being able to recognize and adapt to these formal situations will be harder, or even impossible for them to do.

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