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Txtng the Gr8 Db8

Txtng the Gr8 Db8
David Crystal
Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2008
TK5105.73 .C79 2008

This book takes a long hard look at the text-messaging phenomenon and its effects on literacy, language, and society. Young people who seem to spend much of their time texting appear unable or unwilling to write much else. Media outrage has ensued. "It is bleak, bald, sad shorthand," writes a commentator in the UK Guardian. "It masks dyslexia, poor spelling, and mental laziness." Exam answers using textese and reports that examiners find them acceptable have led to headlines in the tabloids and leaders in the qualities.

Do young people text as much as people think? Do adults? Does texting spell the end of literacy? Is there a panic in the media? David Crystal looks at the evidence. He investigates how texting began and who uses it, why, and what for. He shows how to interpret its mix of pictograms, logograms, abbreviations, symbols, and wordplay. He explores the ways similar devices have been used in different eras and discovers that the texting system of conveying sounds and meaning goes back a long way, all the way in fact to the origins of writing. He concludes that far from hindering literacy, texting may even turn out to help it.

Txtng: The Gr8 Db8 is entertaining and instructive: reassuring for worried parents and teachers, illuminating for teenagers, and fascinating for everyone interested in what's currently happening to language and communication.

Quoted from dustjacket.