David Crystal on the Myths and Realities of Texting




I don't usually do this - post other people's content. And I'm a bit embarrassed that I can't remember who told me about this video. Someone on twitter, maybe? An email from Nancy? Something Michael wrote on his blog? I dunno. :/

More, the first bit about buddy being the "greatest expert in the world on the English language" is also kind of embarrassing, as are several of Mr. Crystal's easy generalizations.

But... embarrassing or not, I want to share this video / talk for a couple of reasons.

One is that it fits with our (or, at least, my) musings about changes to English and to conceptions of "literacy" is the light of new technologies. I view texting and its context as a positive development. Just recently, a colleague told me about someone she knows whose reading and writing assesses at a very low level; maybe as low as level 1. Yet, she is a prolific texter. "She has three phones." She knows she spells things 'wrong' but apparently is able to communicate in writing with friends and families. "It's given her access," my friend said.

(I wish... I don't have a cellphone, and don't know about billing plans and such, but I wish someone would take a solid look at the economics of texting. It appears, for example, that sending texts is cheaper than placing a call in some cases.)

Second, it provides a nice rejoinder to the "myth that new communication technologies are destroying language."

Enjoy.

No comments: