In Will We Stop Speaking and Just Text?, James Harbeck discusses the modern English language and how our spoken word is affected by the evolution of texting and other forms of shorthand, such as emojis.
In this article from the BBC, Harbeck uses visual, textual, and social examples to illustrate the magnitude of the impact that “Live” or live internet vernacular has on the English language, including how we speak. He argues that, like Arabic, the written English language is becoming so different from the spoken one that it’s practically a different dialect.
Although it is clear that some shorthand has made its way into spoken English, is it likely that internet slang or emojis will make their way into formal writing?
“Studies have shown that it’s not… we don’t use the slang we learned as kids in our annual reports. And we’ve had abbreviations such as FYI since long before the internet, but you won’t see them in newspaper articles or academic essays.”
One thought on “Max Fern – Will We Stop Speaking and Just Text?, Harbeck (09/09)”
I like the point you bring up about emojis entering formal writing. I find it unlikely, but you never know these days. I think emojis serve a different purpose in speech because they show an emotion and clarify the tone of speech. This can be necessary for texting, emailing, or messaging because it’s hard to gage someone’s tone when you’re not with them.