9/9 – Will We Stop Speaking and Just Text? – Grayson Begier

In Will We Stop Speaking and Just Text?, Harbeck discusses whether live internet vernacular English will replace spoken English.

Harbeck supports this hypothetical by introducing the many different aspects to live internet vernacular English (Live). He discusses the emotions behind text speech by bringing up the term “wtf.” Harbeck argues that text speech can convey the writer’s emotion. For example, people often use “wtfffffff” for emphasis, but it doesn’t represent speech in any literal way. Similarly, he brings up another common text reference where people “shred capitalization standards to convey derision.” This is when someone shifts their capitalization by writing “sOrRy i dOnT WaNt tO tAlK aBouT ThiS” to mock the other person. Although, most people don’t see this as speech, it is. Harbeck argues that this is language. He believes Live is an idiom of a certain social set because the mockery type of texting is a result of SpongeBob SquarePants memes and Bitcoin Talk Forums. Whether live internet vernacular English will replace spoken English is up in the air right now, but people will continue to adapt speech into text.

Throughout the article, I agreed with Harbeck about his opinions regarding acronyms, popular text culture, and different social sets. Although I don’t believe texting will replace speech indefinitely, I understand why people would think this. I find myself applying the same terms I use over text in person with my friends, but obviously they understand what I’m saying. However, my parents would not. For example, the term “tea” now translates to “gossip” because of how people interpreted the Kermit the Frog meme where he sips hot tea. Social media users coined this term, and now older generations are learning about this adaptation.

2 thoughts on “9/9 – Will We Stop Speaking and Just Text? – Grayson Begier

  1. Grayson, I read this same article and talked about very similar points. From the perspective of someone who uses similar texting language, it is interesting to take a step back and read some verbiage through an “outside perspective.” I also agree with you that I don’t think texting will replace speech, but I think it could play a large role in the future of the English language. Through younger generations, I think people will grow up using more informal aspects of the English language.

  2. I did not read this article but find what it talks about very interesting. I think some texting language has replaced how we talk but certainly not most. I do believe that this will progress in the future but likely not to the extent that the author predicts (it sounds like). I was compelled by your use of memes as an example because I initially would not think of that as “speech” but it really is a form of speech through the internet and has transformed the way we visually see something’s meaning.

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