Science students have grappled with the periodic table of elements as abbreviations. English teachers once taught the using of abbreviations were impolite. When author, Damon Runyon, wrote about street thugs of the 1930’s, abbreviations and contractions were removed from dialog. Now language is shifting to a position where abbreviations are more the rule than the exception. Using mobile technology has helped make this happen with the introduction of texting.
Language is constantly evolving. Consider reading books or articles from centuries past. Some are indecipherable while others lose their original meanings and context. As such, many of these old works become subjects of vast classroom discussions, where original intent may be further diluted by different times. Language changes with time and time’s passing defines language. In the common practice of texting, both time and space give way to a completely new form of communication that befuddles most people born before 1980. Where social media becomes the new “hang”, texting is a revolution that makes sense, defining age and being.
A dictionary of texting terms illustrates thousands of variations used for texting. What began as a simple “:)” smile is now an extended lexicon.
Perhaps smartphones and other mobile devices was the instigator of the few shortcuts that people originally used in e-mails and chat rooms. Texting has proliferated deeply into contemporary society to the point that it’s approaching legal and conceptual terms.
In 2008, five of the top-ten Japanese novels originated as cellphone texts.
2BONT2B? That is the question. This message is better known as,” To be or not to be”, from William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, written around the 1600.
Perhaps as we document and archive works of writers, leaders, and scientists, texts will be abbreviation rich. Future generations and historians will just have to study and analyze what these phrases actually meant. In our search for meaning, confusion will always be the perceptual challenge.