By: Cierra Martoccia
Sarah Zion
Lauren Douglas
Nicklaus Cox
Lauren Johnson
Sara Jane Blumenschine
Demese Simmons
Christian Walker
Now We Want to Hear From You
Crystal’s Point
• Thesis: “ All the popular beliefs about texting
are wrong, or at least debatable. Its graphic
distinctiveness is not a totally new
phenomenon. Nor is its use restricted to the
young generation. There is increasing
evidence that it helps rather than hinders
literacy. And only a very tiny part of the
language uses its distinctive orthography” (9).
Texting is a new
phenomenon that was
developed in the early
1990s, but did not take off
until the early 2000s
 Texting’s spread was
originally limited by
companies ability to
charge for the service and
the penetration of the
mobile phone
Chapter 1: The Hype about Texting?
 Texts or short message
service (SMS) were
typically limited to 140
bytes of information
 Texting is no longer
limited to short, typed
•Through the use of
MMS (Multimedia
Messaging Service) it
is now possible to
send pictures,
ringtones, logos,
graphics, animation,
videos, etc.
Chapter 1: The Hype about Texting
• Throughout history, as
technology has
developed, linguistic
disaster has been
predicted. Texting has
been no exception to
such predictions.
• According to Crystal, it is
a fairly popular belief that
texting is a totally new
phenomenon that is
destroying the English
2: How
Weird is
 Texting is perceived as “foreign,”
“alien,” and “outlandish.”
 Texting is said to “masks
dyslexia, poor spelling, and
mental laziness.”
However Crystal argues that:
Texting is much more complex
and fascinating than simple
abbreviations, smiley face
emoticons, and other weird
symbols which most “texters”
don’t even utilize.
Chapter 2: How Weird is Texting
 Crystal hypothesizes that a Crystal believes that because
person’s text language is there is no uniformity to this
individually based and can new way of communicating
people (mainly stuffy
vary for many different
linguists) tend to view it in a
negative manner.
 Age, geographic location,
personal style, gender and
ethnic differences
6 ways in which texting gives the impression
of novelty:
- pictograms and logograms
- initialism
- nonstandard spellings
- omitted letters
- shortenings
- genuine novelties
pictograms and logograms
 “the most noticeable
feature of text
 logograms or logographs
and pictograms
 texting is sometimes
compared to Egyptian
hieroglyphs, but
hieroglyphs are much
more complex entities
 but there is a point of
overlap between
hieroglyphs and texting
 rebus
Chapter 3: What makes Texting
 the
reduction of words to their
initial letters, ex. BBC, NATO,
GF/girlfriend, BFF/best friends
 examples from texting are new,
but the process is not
Chapter 3: What makes Texting
Nonstandard spelling
Omitting letters
 Spelling is consistent and inconsistent,
would not be able to use nonstandard
spelling if students did not have a grasp of
spelling. Some letters are missing or
omitted without changes meeting
Chapter 3: What makes Texting
 Omitting one meaningful element of a
Saves money and time if word is still
English has always shortened words
Abbreviations have always been criticized
Most messages intimate/local so the parties
understand each other
Message has to be viewed as a whole, not in
Chapter 3: What makes Texting
Genuine Novelties
 Most abbreviations are new, but borrowed
 Texting can be single abbreviations or a
string combination
They are not meant to be spoken aloud
Produced through texting
Can be in slang terminology or code
A symbol has various meanings in various
Can characterize texters by their stylistic
-Two Main Reasons: convenience and fun
(for teh lulz!!1!)
-Abbreviations compensate for
inconvenience of multiple key strokes and
tiny keyboards.
-Human ludic temperament gives rise to
texting competitions, seeing who can text
the fastest or who can write the best text
“14: a txt msg pom.
his is r bunsn brnr bl%
his hair lyk fe filings
W/ac/dc/ going thru.
I sit by him in kemistry
it splits my @oms
wen he :-)s @ me.”
-Julia Bird
1. Economics: less
expensive than
2. The medium’s
immediate, direct,
personal, private.
3. Allows one to
4. Bypasses social
niceties, no need
for salutations and
Chapter 4 continued
People of ALL ages text!
Although teens and young
adults are still the most avid
Women text more than men
and write longer, and more
grammatically complex
sentences. Also express
wider range of content and
use traditional orthography
mixed with emoticons and
Chapter 6: What do they text
 Crystal establishes that text messages perform a wide
range of social and informational functions.
 Texting also fulfills the human ludic desire, and as
such is used to circulate jokes and chain messages
 Texting is used for this purpose in all areas of society,
especially in the workplace, universities, and in
political campaigns.
Chapter 7: How do other
languages do it?
• Numbers influence
• Complex letters are typed in 3 methods:
– Multi –press system
– Phonetic system
– Handwriting recognition
Problems: word length
Texting is heavily influenced by English
Letter replacements
-Influences of language is seen in spellings
All the languages shorten words by using
combinations of initial & medial letters
Chapter 8: Why All the Fuss?
Texting is nonstandard, therefore
many older people tend to stray
away from dealing with it.
It is thought that texting will
destroy a child's ability to spell,
punctuate, and capitalize.
Linguistic habits from texting will
transfer over to other school work
(using “textese” to write term
papers or give presentations)
People believe that texting will ruin
a generation of adults
Texting is also attributed to lower
grades in schools.
Crystal’s Argument
• Point: All of these
assumptions are not true.
Texting studies have shown
that texting does not harm
our use of language!
The New York
 Excessive texting is a health issue:
-it leads to anxiety, school distraction, failing
grades, and sleep deprivation
-always causes unrest & pressure
 makes staying in touch too easy (autonomy???)
 has potential to be beneficial, but can do great
 has terrible implications for the classroom
 everyone is catching the bug
Scholarly Reactions
“2 txt or not 2 txt, tht is th?” • Texting as a dialect
by : John Sutherland
• For the mentally lazy, not
just a time saver
• Praises the book for
multiple viewpoints and
exploring each
perspective and thought in
• “young tongue” texting
compared to “old tongue”
telegraph language
Sutherland, John. “2 txt or not 2 txt, tht is th?” New
Statesman [1996] 4 Aug. 2008: 50+. Literature
Resources for Gale. Web. 7 Nov. 2010.
Scholarly Reactions
Llyod Evans
Evans, Lloyd. “Short and Sweet.” Spectator 19 July
2008: 34. Literature Resources from Gale. Web 7
Nov. 2010.
-Compares texting to shorthand
-Says that he himself (Evans) was an old man who began to
fully accept texting and a quick means of communication
-Praises the book as a link between generations
-Believes that Crystal’s argument is supported by legitimate
research and a realistic view of the situation.
-Texting is not a problem for today’s society.
Review by Karen Ives
resource for real story behind texting
Crystal doesn’t really stick to chapter topics
Texting is changing constantly so analysts cannot
pin it down
Has good information on social phenomenon
Believe it’s good that Crystal also presents
dangers of texting
Readers get pros and cons and then make a
decision themselves
Is Texting Good or Bad? TXTING: The gr8 db8 by
David Crystal, reviewed by Karen Ives
 Txting:
frNd or
David Crystal addresses
the popular beliefs that
texting enables the
decline in literacy.
Crystal argues that the
standard and nonstandard features are
good characteristics that
help to form a
standardized language
of textism and increase
language skills.
Crystal complicates our
understanding of what “Literature” is
by describing texting as a genre. We
assumed literary genres could only
be “traditional” forms, such as the
novel, the short story, the poem. Yet
Crystal’s argument displayed how
texting as a genre is capable of
generating poetry and short stories
that are unique to the constraints of
the medium and also fulfill the
aesthetic expectations of other
literary genres.
Please remind
me 2 remind u
reminding me 2
send u this
reminder that
reminds me of
reminding u
that i am always
ur friend. DONT
Disciplinary Assumptions
• Crystal also complicates
how we thought texting
affects the English
language. Although some
text speak, such as “LOL,”
has worked its way into
colloquial speech, Crystal
argues that “textese” has
not degraded English but
added more depth by
providing a new complex
code for communicating
in the medium.
Disciplinary Assumptions
Crystal’s argument showed that the ideologies that
motivated 18th century grammarians to freeze the
language are the same ideas causing the aversion to
texting today. The myth of the perfect language and
the undesirability of change, so engrained in our
sentiments about English, still contribute to the
backlash against texting and the media hype about
the “death” of English. Although texting has created
linguistic changes, Crystal shows that some of these
changes are not as alien to our language as they
seem at first.
Disciplinary Assumptions
Text messaging abbreviations are developed as a
way to shorten the time it takes to say something. In
a society where there seems to be less time to do
things and where the attention span of the average
person has decreased, it is possible that this desire
to write down ideas quickly can translate to other
forms of writing. Students may know not to use text
abbreviations in their formal writing, but could texting
impact students writing to a point where there is little
to nothing other than the information for which is
being asked. If texting directness becomes a norm,
could that spread to other mediums of writing such
as poetry or fiction?
• With the increase in
availability of cell phones
to teenagers, there is a
whole new medium of
communication for
adolescent gossip.
Dealing with this form of
gossip, is a new challenge
that teachers will need to
address in the classroom.

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