Archive for the ‘Texting’ Category

Texting while talking

March 18, 2013

Today’s Zits returns to the topic of texting and changes in the way people, or at least young people, communicate these days:

Sarah is on the cutting edge here, racing ahead of even Jeremy, who’s no slouch at cultural change.


Garfield on modern communications

August 2, 2012

Two Garfield cartoons (by Jim Davis), from Melissa Carvell:

Cellphones and texting. Melissa thinks the BARK! and FFFT! in the first might count as taboo vocabulary in the world of dogs and cats, respectively.


Texting Santa

February 21, 2011

From the NYT‘s “Metropolitan Diary” this morning, a sign of the times:

Dear Diary:
Time: Just before Christmas.
Scene: Doctor’s office.

Seated in the waiting room were a husband, wife and three children, ages about 7, 5 and 3. The boys were actually particularly quiet as they waited — but at one point, they were starting to get a bit rambunctious, so the father turned to them and said, “Quiet now or I’ll text Santa.”

Text Santa.

I surely could not have heard that correctly, since I was at the opposite end of the waiting room. But about 10 minutes later, as the boys were starting to act up, the father turned to them again and said, “Texting Santa,” and they immediately sat down quietly.

While my children said that’s not a particularly amazing thing to say, they did say that the fact that the dad had Santa’s cellphone number was pretty cool.

Ruth Sommer

Internet writing rant

January 3, 2011

A way-over-the-top rant on internet writing, here (hat tip to Bruce Webster):

Hey, Y R U Not Paying Attention?

Strong language warning, but it’s all in a good cause. Besides, you probably need this or know someone who does.

The long text begins:

Y, R & U

and goes on to bitch about texting abbreviations, apostrophe misuse, comma misuse, and common misspellings. I’m not able to post the thing here, because the resolution of the image is too poor, but you can enjoy the version on the American Digest site.

Decline of traditional e-mail

December 26, 2010

A report by Matt Richtel in the NYT of December 21, “In Youthful World of Messaging, E-Mail Gets Instant Makeover”, on the preference of young people for the speed and instant gratification of “online chats and text messages” over traditional e-mail, and the way internet companies like Facebook are altering their messaging services to make them less like e-mail and more like texting.

Old fogey that I am, I still prefer e-mail, as I noted in a posting a while back.


The Gettysburg tweet

December 23, 2010

A skateboarding Abe Lincoln composes his address on-line:

… using an extreme version of tweetspeak — but surely not compacted enough to get the whole 246-word speech out within Twitter’s 140-character limit.


we need to V

May 21, 2010

Bizarro brings a formula of social life (especially the life of couples) into the modern age:

“We need to talk”, “We have to talk”, “We’ve got to talk” — all ways of starting a two-person discourse about some potentially troubling topic. It’s become a kind of formula for couples-talk, often initiating a decoupling conversation (taking things easy, seeing other people, breaking up). Here it’s brought up to date in the age of txtng and friending.

Mortal texting: framing, hypallage

November 8, 2009

Following up on my brief posting on the NYT story “When Texting Kills”, two things: some comments on the way the story was framed, as about the bad consequences of texting, when in fact the root problem is distracted driving, whatever the source; and notes on the expression distracted driving.


When texting kills

November 5, 2009

It’s a sad story. As reported by Elisabeth Rosenthal in the New York Times (“When Texting Kills, Britain Offers Path to Prison”, November 2):

OXFORD, England — Inside the imposing British Crown Court here, Phillipa Curtis, 22, and her parents cried as she was remanded for 21 months to a high-security women’s prison, for killing someone much like herself. The victim was Victoria McBryde, an up-and-coming university-trained fashion designer.

Ms. Curtis had plowed her Peugeot into the rear end of Ms. McBride’s neon yellow Fiat, which had broken down on the A40 Motorway, killing Ms. McBryde, 24, instantly.

Curtis was driving while distracted — by the many text messages she was exchanging with friends. A 2008 British government directive treats prolonged texting as a serious aggravating factor in “death by dangerous driving”.

Rosenthal was unable to report this story without the ritual dig at texting and texters:

[The text messages Curtis exchanged] are filled with the mangled spellings and abbreviations that typify the new lingua franca of the young.

Rosenthal cites LOL and an expletive (not specified; this is the NYT, after all), but nothing more.

Language Log has reported many times on characterizations of texting (and electronic communications in general) as evil in various ways. A small sampling of postings: here, here, here. (There’s also a long series of cartoons on texting and so on, mostly about teens).