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God Save the Queen! Text-Eze English is the Cool New Thing

Thursday October 11, 2012 , 4 min Read

“Do u hv an exNB tht I cn boro?”

“Clse de dor b4 u lve”

Your head swims trying to decipher this? Keep it to yourself. Don’t voice it and make a public display of your ignorance, your ignorance of a new dialect of English, text-eze English. No, you are not allowed to scream bloody murder of the Queen’s English. It’s the new cool. A3 no longer refers to the dimensions of a sheet of paper but is an abbreviation for “Anytime,Anyplace,Anywhere” and ATM, “At The Moment”.

With SMS and Instant Messaging catching on fast, text lingo has become the present -day English, horrifying traditionalists and educators. While some fear it may lead to a communication breakdown, others just find it “plain annoying” to try and understand what the other person means.Yet many others see it as the language evolving in a new way –If “thou art” has paved way for “You are” , why not “u r” ? – they question.“Proper English? Inproper English, gay means happy”, points out The Local Tea Party, an anonymous blogger, who caused quite a stir by getting a wide readership, despite his complete massacre of the English language, stripping it down to the lowest level. At the end of the day, all that matters if your thought has been communicated and understood in the right sense, not the language, not the Grammar , they believe.

And there is one sect that says- “Ma” is two letters. So is “My”. Then why use “ma”? English teachers are worried over this affecting the writing skills, with students resorting to text -speak in assignments as well. Edutopia, an educational website for students, conducted a poll regarding the issue of text messaging versus grammar - “Text Messaging and its Effects on Teens’ Grammar”. Almost 300 people voted, and the results were in favour of “Yes, I believe students are carrying over the writing habits they pick up through text messaging into school assignments.” Nearly half of the votes were “yes” while only about 30 per cent were “no.”

“Personally, I think the language has undergone changes , adopting itself to requirements of the times. Also, it has only been embellished and might actually grow as a result of this new form. But yes, it is possible text language may render English a bunch of meaningless alphabets or sounds because there’s no framework to text-speak as such. And hence to understand what an individual wants to say is quite a task,” says Sashi Dwarak , who is currently pursuing B.Ed in English Literature, also a teacher. Being a teacher, she feels that it has very much impacted the way students write. “Students write as they text. And the spelling errors – just terrible!” she exclaims. Also, she believes that the beauty of the written word is lost.The results when text-speak is misunderstood or when T9 thinks it knows better and “auto-corrects” spellings is downright hilarious. A friend was confused when he received a wink in response to his text “Aishwarya looks great in Pink Panther”. He hurriedly re-checked what he had sent-Pink Panther had been auto-corrected to“ pink panties!” Yes, I totally ROFLed to it!

There are websites too, to help you get abbreviations and words you have never seen/heard of before. These are for the benefit of those from the last decade, trying to fit in. “Imlvin 2moro. TGTB” Flabbergasted? Don’t sweat! Net Lingo will translate it for you as “I’m leaving tomorrow. Too good to be true”. Yes, TGTB for the baffled from the 20th century. Now , he can say “Whee, thts gr8” and pass for a modernist.

Looks like the Queen’s English after a century might become obsolete and be made a subject of study , as is the case with Shakespearan English today !

May God save the Queen!

Author credit: Akshaya Bhat