Tuesday, October 8th, 2019...10:19 pm

Modernized Modern Day English

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Grace Gardner

Source: Digital Parenting, at http://www.digitalparenting.ie/text-speak-for-parent.html

Looking at Richard Nordquist’s definition of dialect is what makes me believe that text-messaging English should be considered as a dialect of English. He believes that a dialect includes two important aspects: the grammar surrounding the language and how it is pronounced. Having been around since nearly the beginning of the text-messaging English era, I do believe that it should be considered as a dialect of English. Obviously, there is a significant number of people who have the idea that in order for something to be a dialect, it needs to follow the guidelines of standardized English. What many people fail to realize though is that a dialect is not about how things are spelt, but rather what the person gains from it.

When a formal form of an English dialect is being used, odds are that it is being used in a professional or academic setting. This type of setting usually goes hand in hand with the conversation having to be analyzed due to its importance. Whether the conversation is written or spoken, it seems to take more processing time than an informal conversation does. Rarely is a text message conversation had because of a formal reason. Instead, people have these conversations usually for leisure or quick manners that need to be dealt with. When acknowledging this, it opens up the perspective of text-messaging slang being used as dialect that can be processed as fast as speech can be. The phrases that have been formed are intended to speed up the conversation. These phrases can be read and understood as fast as speech can be spoken and processed. Not only has text-messaging English established a dialect that can be read as fast as speech can be spoken, but it has also formed its own type of interpretations based upon the grammar used within the text.

With this type of dialect being used so often now, it is not hard for the receiver of a text message to quickly imply the tone that is being set. With most of the phrases that have been formed, multiple interpretations can come from it. As an example, the phrase “OMG” could be interpreted in multiple different ways; such as anger, stress, excitement, shock, or empathetic. With these phrases instantly setting the tone of the conversation, it helps the speed of the conversation reach a similar pace of speech. Having the tone of the conversation being set at the beginning avoids any confusion about what the speaker means when they are sending the message. These phrases do not only speed up conversations but they also set the tone of the conversation almost immediately, which does so much more for the dialect than the spelling does. The familiarity and use of these phrases has led text-messaging English into developing itself as one of the most comprehensible dialects of English.

After being in this class for just shy of a month so far, the lectures and assigned readings have helped me understand that a dialect is not about having one way to spell and speak the language; but rather about making sure that whatever the dialect may be, it will be comprehensible and logical. Even people who do not think that text messaging English should be considered as a dialect still understands what the abbreviations mean. Text-messaging English has derived from modern English, which is why my generation still understands the abbreviations. If people can still understand what is being said, if it speeds up the conversation, and if it manages to get the point across faster, then why not accept it as a dialect?

Works Cited

Nordquist, R. (2019). Do You Know What a Dialect Is?. [online] ThoughtCo. Available at: https://www.thoughtco.com/dialect-language-term-1690446 [Accessed 25 Sep. 2019].

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