Make Grammar Fun with Texting

Texting: what are you talking about?

Excruciating minutiae

Seinfeld (among others) perfected this particular form of entertainment. This concept is certainly not new (what is?) but I must say it’s getting to be perfected to a new level. Disturbingly so. Creating a new language (of sorts) aside, this is not a good thing.

I’ve griped about this before, the dumbing down of the language for the sake of expediency and quicker typing, but that’s hardly the point. Or the danger. Banality is the problem. The waste of gray matter is the problem. The sheer misuse of time is the problem. What are you all talking about?

Or not talking about? The other problem with this form of communication is a kind of love affair with the gadgets themselves, and the process itself. This is not an unforeseen phenomena of course, it’s all part of the package. It’s fun to punch all those little buttons as quickly as you can and watch the words—or at least a semblance thereof—scroll across that tiny screen, it’s even addictive. And the technology just keeps getting better and more tempting. Unfortunately, the communication itself is not keeping pace.

The truly worrisome thing as far as I’m concerned is that face-to-face communication will begin to deteriorate—more than it already is. Have you noticed the group of folk who, though gaggled together, are all glued to their little screens instead of actually talking to one another. I know in my own experience I have people in my life who can’t hold a conversation, simple or no, without checking almost constantly for incoming…whatever’s from their little gizmos. It is addictive. And it shouldn’t be. Because it’s not important, it’s not edifying, and it’s not necessary.

Now, I’m aware that my opinion may be on the controversial side, even, in some quarters, heretical. Having said that I will also go on to say I am in no ways, means, or stretches of the imagination a Luddite (define  ) I am thrilled, participatory and widely applaud the onset of technology. I just think we’re wasting a lot of this cool stuff on…nothing. So stop it. Stop texting and try talking. Or writing in complete sentences. Or better yet, reading a book.

Teachers of English, grammar and writing, this is a great prompt sort of thing for your students. Have them argue their position (against mine if they want) but defend it—if they can.