Is the use of more and more abbreviations in our text messages ruining our English grammar and language skills?
Internet, social media, mobile phones, and telecommunication have been tremendously successful in the twenty-first century with the help of the one and only tech device named “smartphone”. Numbers show that today almost every person on the planet owns at least one mobile phone whereas almost half of the global population lives below the poverty line.
However, the rapid advancement of technology in this field has helped some of the world’s leading economies flourish well in recent years. The other side of the same coin is that it has affected our language skills, the way we use our languages specifically English while communicating with each other. The question is whether it is for the good or not.
We all have noticed our teens at homes or in our circles spending hours texting one another on the social media. Such a mobile communication has undoubtedly made them fluent in English, especially those for whom English is a second language but the way they are using the language is killing their knowledge of spelling and even their grammar and language skills. Parents and teachers are of the opinion that such a culture would result in a poor knowledge base of the language and lack of depth in grammar skills among the youngsters. Literacy skills among children in both primary and secondary levels are declining rapidly. Children are getting more familiar with typing on smartphones and tablets than reading books and writing in copies.
Studies reflect that kids and teenagers have been using abbreviations abundantly in their text messages and shockingly enough regular and routine use of these abbreviations like “lol”, “plz”, “hpe” etc. have made them think these abbreviations are actual words. Such usage of the language is becoming normal to them with the passage of time which in turn might actually deprive them of the basic understanding or knowledge of standard English grammar.
We all would agree that children, teens of today lack the knowledge, literacy, and depth in language skills that used to be among them a decade or two ago. A few years ago grammar and writing skills were considered the route to gain command over the English language.
But in today’s high-tech world where features like “auto-correction”, “auto-fill”, and “predictive-text” are easily and instantly available while typing a text, children are struggling with spelling as well as grammatical errors like never before.
But the interesting part is that the AI (Artificial Intelligence) is taking the responsibility to make us write error-free spellings or grammatical constructions whereas in doing so it is gradually and rapidly taking over the world making us more and more week in our language skills.
Easy availability of text messaging has made teenagers reluctant and even in some cases feel shy from making calls which dramatically has affected their fluency in speaking English. They feel safer while texting than making calls. Such a practice is harmful to non-English speakers who want to learn to speak fluently in English.
Experts are of the opinion that sounds and phrases of a language are subject to constant changes as they are inevitably entangled with the ever-changing socio-economic patterns of our civilization. The language is ever changing and dynamic. The English used in the 15th century does not exist today anymore.
This can easily be judged by the current version of a dictionary as well. The abbreviations thoughtlessly used while texting in recent years have been paving their ways into the latest versions of many dictionaries. Once we all used to tell our kids to avoid using those misspelled words and today those are becoming words to them. Probably our fast lifestyle is one of the reasons behind such unexpected changes in our language.
Linguists fear the approach of an era when or where grammatical errors would no longer be a major thing to consider. People or speakers around the world are focusing more and more on simple methods to convey or express their concepts, thoughts or ideas to one another instead of using flawless English to do so. Youngsters who have been text messaging more frequently have been found lacking a common standard knowledge base of grammar in their languages.
Don’t you fear the approach of a telepathic age where languages would no longer be a need to convey or express our thoughts or what if it would be an option to do so? I do.
Is that not what an advanced civilization might seem like? Interesting…
Have a good time, Bye
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