Saturday, May 25, 2013

Does txting mk u crazy?

As a specialist in linguistics, I teach a class that deals with the nature of language and language change. In the first chapter, there's a true/false question that says something like: "People use language less correctly today than they did 50 years ago." A lot of students will say that the statement is true, for a number of reasons. So one of my objectives for the course is to demonstrate that one of the most fascinating aspects about language is that it changes constantly. If it's not changing, that means it's a dead language, because human languages change naturally.  As a related principle, I want them to know that language change does not equal language deterioration.

That's why I think this video is so interesting. It does a great job of pointing out that humans have always complained about language deterioration, and also makes a case for cognitive benefits that arise from being bilingual and bidialectal, and makes a good case for texting having evolved into its own dialect.

So how can you use this information in your classroom?  Each language has its own texting lingo, and thankfully for us old folks, nice people offer texting dictionaries online. So for Spanish, here's one dictionary. This will depend on your own personal tolerance for mobile devices in class, and your school's mobile device policy. But if they have their phones with them, why not tell them that they can only text in the target language during class?  If all students have phones with texting, make an activity designed around that. You'll actually be helping them develop their brains instead of contributing to the deterioration of the language, lol. :)

Know links to dictionaries in other languages? Leave them in the comments! Thank you!


  1. Si!! Yo vi este video y me pareció interesante. No había pensado en buscar un diccionario de mensajes electrónicos en español! me servirá mucho!

  2. ¡Me alegro de que te sirva! Espero que todo te vaya bien. :)


All comments are now moderated due to the volume of spam links being posted in the comments section. To the spammers: Your junk links will never see the light of day, so please stop wasting my time by posting them.