Among other things that interested me was the idea that there’s a debate about texting, great or not.I caught as much of the Presidential debates as I could, but somehow missed the text messaging debates entirely.
Which means nothing’s changed since the bobby soxers were listening to Frank Sinatra and tying up the telephone party line talking about the boys in the zoot suits with the drape shapes and the reet pleats.
Adults will always complain about the music and slang of youth culture.
Throw a new and unfamiliar medium into the mix, and I suppose the fogeys can take pleasure in ratcheting up their disapproval a notch or two.
According to Louis Menand, the reviewer, Crystal sees little threat to language from texting. But what I found more interesting was this paragraph from the review: …texting is, partly, a game.
It’s like writing a sonnet (well, sort of): the requirement is to adapt the message to immutable formal constraints.
A sonnet can’t have more than fourteen lines, and a mobile-phone message can’t have more than a hundred and forty bytes, which is usually enough for a hundred and sixty characters.
This is a challenge to ingenuity, not an invitation to anarchy.
For me, personally, texting was something I only did a few times before I got a real QWERTY keyboard, first on my Palm Treo 650 and now on my i Phone.
Perhaps my problem is that I’m too attached to vowels and think numbers are best used for mathematical purposes.