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The degradation of language in general.

I'm depressed.
It has been far too long since I have seen the number two spelled out online.
People always just type "2".
This is mere lazyness! It is gramaticly incorrect to use numerals for typing any number that takes less than 4 syllables to say.

This is just an example of what is depressing me.
Too right.

I mean there's even an incentive to write things out in full and correct English here. Yet people still manage to post some complete garbage which is somewhere between "txt speak" and martian.

Ah well.
While we're grumbling, whatever happened to apostrophes? Or semicolons? Or spelling? How about an adjective every now and then?
S3nd K3ys
SunburnedCactus wrote:
somewhere between "txt speak" and martian.


Dammit. I need to get those translators. My comp doesn't have them.
That's rigrht. English is not my "default" language, but i think that every one should post fine and correct words. Foe exemple, i yust learn some new word, and someone write it in short form and i can't understand him. I also think that if you can'n write the way you should, don't even post.
English may not be my best subject, but I dont feel the need to degrade it. Sure I have been horrible around aposterphies, and semi-colins, and i have totally killed Spelling (in Case You havent been able to tell). I Cannot stand it when someone uses an a instead of an an, or they type with a capital and a non-capital in a pattern. But remember, CAPS-LOCK IS CRUISE CONTROL FOR COOL!!
English isn't my main language either, but I recognize I have some good english skills and I always tend to write english correctly. I use english everyday and sometimes I even find myself THINKING in english, lol.

1337 speak looks just dumb to me... But yeah, I do that number thing you referred to in the first post sometimes as well. That rule applies in my main language as well, but sometimes I can't help it. Rolling Eyes
As long as the message can be understood I don't think it matters too much. After all, we're not writing literature here, we are communicating. The important thing is that the correct message comes across. 2 or two - there is no ambiguity there.
You get more frih$ if you write it out properly. Wink
using 2 instead of two is just a matter of flexibility and faster typing...besides...languages are always changing and evolving. Neologisms(i don`t know if this is the correct form, i mean foreign new words beeing added to the language) are they way every language was formed. Acronyms and short forms of words, once they are accepted by the comunity become official words. So, if i want to say i will write a script for 2 cents, would you understand something else if i were to say i will write a script for two cents?
We all understand each other and that is what matters
hmm... well my ENG Razz isent to good but i gues i culd make some of u happy whit this


there there all good ye! Razz

well i guess why some ppl can get irritated or even inflamed about ppl not even trying to craft a neat and tidy post like this one Laughing
but im not gona get depressed about it

BUT i am gona get depressed about all the leet or 1337 sh*t
I think that the discussion about the usage of "2" is a bit unnessecary. Everbody understands what a writer means, also no problem at all. It is different with the so called msn-language. terms as cu I can understand, but other terms are not understandable for me.

Now a bit different dicussion. In my own mother language, Dutch, more and more english words are added. I do not regret that, because the world is getting more international. In one hundert years, english people are able to understand the dutch as they speak dutch, because by then a lot of words and terms will be english. conclusion: it leads to a closer world! (and hopefully one could understand eachother habits better...)
I think if you use txt language sometimes it's ok as long as when you really NEED to be formal (say a letter to the boss) you can.

I do both. When I'm using MSN- im always abb. things nd stuff- but when I'm writing an email I use formal language (even if it's to a friend).

The funny thing is I'm not even consistent in these fourms Embarassed, sometimes I'm 'formalish' (like this), in others I'm sloppy.

I don't think it matters though. I can do both well, I don't have a problem understanding txts and I'm pretty good at English. Laughing
Being understood is one thing, but a lot of people who use shortcuts in their writing abuse them to the point where the message is no longer intelligible. More important than 2 vs. two is general sentence structure and overall syntax. In general, sentences have subjects and predicates and often have objects. Why is that so hard to do? Also, legitimate spelling errors aside, lazyness (like unfixed typos) really does degrade the overall quality of a post. It's difficult to take someone seriously who doesn't take themselves seriously enough to make sure their posts make sense.
The English language is and should be flexible and constantly changing. People who complain about the degradation of the language by new language structures and forms of communication need to bear in mind that the language they are using to make that complaint would be almost completely urecognisable to English speakers from previous eras.

Language is first of all about communication, about being understood and it is only when new structures inhibit communication that they become useless. Secondly language is about identity, about inclusion and exclusion through the use of structures associated with certain cultural groups etc.

I think that what we are seeing with txt spk is the evolution of a new form of the English language and whether you like it or not if it is adopted by enough people then it becomes part of the language.
I doubt it. These forms are no accepted in almost all aspects of life except in unregulated forums. The same way 1337 mostly faded, txt spk probably will to. Most people who use it are adolescents who eventually give it up as they mature. It's mostly a byproduct of the integration of technology with children, especially with people who find themselves too busy (in the context of gaming) or too ignorant of actual spelling.

a side note: removing vowels, as has become common, has very little to do with the english 'language.' It affects the appearence of the script, making it more of a syllabary instead of an alphabet. The words and sentences maintain most of the syntax from normal english. The 'language' remains unchanged. Grammatical flaws aren't a 'change' or 'development,' they are degradation which will mostly likely not be accepted in professional forums. It's simply an online variant of what people have been using in chat clients for years. I can't find any compelling reason to think this particular one signals a dramatic change in the language anymore than anything else has.
benwhite wrote:
I can't find any compelling reason to think this particular one signals a dramatic change in the language anymore than anything else has.

I wouldn't suggest that txt spk is any kind of truly dramatic change nor would I hazard a guess as to how long it will last but you are probably right that it will fade in time. You are certainly right that it is mostly an adolescent adaptation and will not be accepted in any kind of professional forum, which in itself would suggest that most people who are using it now will be forced to abandon it at some stage however code-switching between appropriate registers is not a new skill either.

Personally I rarely use abbreviated txt spk and don't particularly like it because I think it destroys the subtlety and beauty of the language but I'm not such a purist that I won't use it when it's convenient.
I agree that txt spk is not a degradation of our language per se, but rather a mutation of it. It preserves equivalent grammatical and syntactical structures, but simply alters the words as displayed on the screen - or pronounced. This is more of a dialectical difference--like the difference in sound between American and British Standard English, between Ozark hillbillly and Valley Girl English. The fact that you can translate from one to the other - see - without losing a consistent amount of meaning suggests that it is not a "degradation" of the language. For degradation, confusion, distortion, and other butchering of the English language, just listen to any sentence spoken by our most esteemed, honorable president.

????? ??? ? ????????? ?????? ??????? ?????, ???????.
Yeah nothing bothers me more than when I'm on aim and someone will say, "Wut are u doin" there are many variations of that same sentence. the word "What" will become "wut, wat, waht"; are becomes "r", and you become "yu, u" it's ridiculous. I kind of try not to talk to those people too much. They might make me dumber. It's good if you have to write a research paper and have to make it a certain length, hell I spell out words like doesn't and weren't and I'm I stretch them out to make them longer. Also on here I kind of babble to get some points and stuff. Very Happy Heh heh heh
Yes, by itself, it might be a form of extend abbreviation. However, it is certainly the case that a large portion of posts in txt speak do not follow grammatical structures. There is an association with laxity that shouldn't be overlooked. Besides the fact that it is harder to read and does in many cases present ambiguities that are not present if written out normally.

"degradation" as used previously in this topic by the original poster most likely meant that these types of changes are unecesary and ugly, not that they had an adverse effect on comprendability. We can read it, but it doesn't mean that a well thought-out and worded post isn't more of pleasure to read.

And no matter what anyone says about '2' vs. 'two'...there -is- a difference between to, too, and two. Just because English speakers can determine meaning from context doesn't mean that those aren't mistakes. We understand "you is" and "I is," but that doesn't make them any less wrong.
It is gramaticly incorrect to use numerals for typing any number that takes less than 4 syllables to say.

As far as I know, it is grammatically incorrect to use numerals for any number having any number of syllables while writing proper English. But I make it a point to use numerals whenever I'm writing any number because it's a lot faster/easier for the mind to quickly process numerals as numbers than it is to process numbers typed out in alphabet...

two + two = four
2 + 2 = 4

As for all the adaptations to the English language, I suppose it has something to do with the fact that English has become the unofficial official language of the world. As a result, we integrate words from our mother-tongues into the English we speak... and (perhaps sadly)... into the English we write.
'365 days a year' is fine. No one expects anyone to write that out. Numbers under 100 are generally written out, although many people also write out the base units, like hundreds, thousands, and millions, etc. So, one might write 'one million.' But you'd write '2097.' Dates are also an exception, it's acceptable to write even the day with numerals, not only the year.
dunno whatchu tlking bout i do 2 youse inglish gud soe their
Yeah, I kind of agree. It's true that people have gotten the habit of written words the shorter way. My French teacher is teaching us too how in French they're making the spelling of some words "easier" because people made too many mistakes from them.

I don't use "text" language in text messages. its faster to type out the word "two"(three keys) with my phone than try and find the 2 with the 2 button.
doug hines
My friend and I figured it out the other day...

Americans do not speak English. We speak American. The American language follows other languages down back alleys and mugs them.
The name of the game is communicating. It's a lot easier to understand when people speak plainly and just seems a lot less pretentious. After graduating from college, I found people more receptive to what you have to say when speaking plainly. Leave the eloquent, verbose speech for Shakespeare and politicians.
My friends and I were actually discussing this the other day, how you will receive a message from someone and the entire thing is abbreviations and acronyms. So, what we did was come up with a set of about a hundred of our own acronyms to use, and started incorporating them into our online speech. We thought that it would alert people to the folly of such manner of speaking. These were all extremely long and exaggerated strings of numbers and letters. However, sadly, the plan backfired and other people started adopting them as their own. This just proves people are desperate for online-speak....*sighs*
ocalhoun wrote:

This is mere lazyness! It is gramaticly incorrect to use numerals for typing any number that takes less than 4 syllables to say.

I beg to agree with it. It's really irritating when you're reading it. English is not my main language though, I make sure I speak write it down properly for most of the time because it's really a good practice to learn it in a formal way. I guess it was used (those word shortcuts) when text messaging of mobile phones is made to be available.
Shoo for people who are too lazy to type correctly!
Here is an exemple...

A sentence gramatically correct: Hello sir, how are you today, for tomorrow?

A sentence NOT gramatically correct: Yo man how r u 2day m8, 4 2moro, heh?
There's been a lot of good points that I agree with here. It is all about communication, and speaking plainly is better.
But it is also just sheer laziness to compromise the clarity of your message to save one keystroke and type 2 instead of to. Certainly, we don't have to type out every number when we're referring to numbers... but can't words be words?
I mean, what's up with b4 and 2gethr? Really... if you want to say something badly enough for me to take the time to read it, you should take the time to type it!
And yes, the language is evolving. My vocabulary is expanding to include countless new words, acronyms, slang terms, and abbreviations to keep pace with our culture and technology. I incorporate more and more foreign expressions (and americanisms (Canadians spell differently!)) and syntax into my speech and writing all the time, largely thanks to the internet.
The very way we present written information has changed in the last few years, now that most people read more online than anywhere else.
So my paragraphs and sentences are shorter. My ideas are becoming bite-sized.
But I WILL INSIST that my words be words and my numbers be numbers.
You don't have to agree with me. But you'll have to accept that too many short-cuts mean that you're placing limits on how many people can understand you.
If you're going to use techno-type, you'd better be certain that your audience is committed to deciphering your jargon.
I'm not.
riv_ wrote:
If you're going to use techno-type, you'd better be certain that your audience is committed to deciphering your jargon.
I'm not.

There are web communities that try to make themselves more exclusive by developing their own lingo, their own jargon. In the same way their are a lot of academic and professional arenas that do exactly the same thing.

The previous poster who said that people generally appreciate plain speech more than overly obscure and verbose language was right in that both obscure language and techno-jargon are designed to exclude people. It's part of the way that group identity works, you define a group by first stating what is outside of the group, in this case those that don't understand the jargon. It is mostly the insecure that are interested in this kind of exclusivity.

With certain audiences (say an academic scholarship interview) you have to choose the right register in order to proclaim yourself a member of that group. Their are also times when an abbreviated register is appropriate e.g. in a quick sms discourse with a friend about where you'll meet. In this kind of forum I don't think there is any need for exclusivity nor for ultra-quick replies.

Personally I'm interested in a considered opinion and if the poster can't take the time to type their post then I probably won't take it too seriously.
Canadian Bacon
I tend to agree with the person who stated, "since life got faster, speach got faster." I think it's mainly due to the type of lifestyle we all lead. If one lives in a very fast paced society they are forced to find way to become more efficient. Take these forums for example. We are all forced to type out what we mean to say; yet if we could speak these same words we would be able to do it in far less time. Therefore people who chat online found a way to get their point across more efficiently and quickly. In also the same way, those who developed "1337 speak" most likely used English as a primary language. As the same in driving or anything you are forced to do many times over, you find a way to do it faster. The first time you drive you are checking speed constantly, hand position, and other such things you cease to do after you become more comfortable in what you are doing while on the road. When people need to write in a formal tone I believe that most can. While what I just said might infringe on some of you who think its totally outrageous to use "1337 speak" or write without proper punctuation and grammar, I for one say so what. If the message gets across and is understood then don't worry about it. Those of you who thinks its some intellectual challenge to debate such menial things with others of your kind need to look at your own lives. I really don't know how you find the time with all the other philosphical issues going on in today's world; heaven forbid someone uses slang terminology.
While admintedly some of the outrage at netlingo and new slang is a bit over the top, it's pretty obvious that communication and comprehendability of things like txt spk are lower. Sure one can read it and get good at it. But its not really that much faster, and the average person definitely spends more time reading it then they would normal plain speech. Besides the fact, shortening words is one thing, but there are plenty of posts here where the grammar is ignored to such an extent that it really is difficult to determine what, if anything, the person is really trying to get across.
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