Alright. I’m about to state the blatantly obvious. Are you ready? Here we go….text-messaging is the death knell of good writing. I’m sure of it. I can honestly say that I have only ever sent one text message in my life and it was on my friend’s phone to another friend as a joke because I don’t own a cell phone nor do I trust them at all. It took me fifteen minutes to write the brief message (and I used punctuation and proper grammar so I wouldn’t hate myself later). It made my friends laugh and shake their heads and it confirmed that I do indeed hate texting on every level. Do you know that they now have copies of such classics and Hamlet and Pride and Prejudice written entirely in “text-ese”? 2B R Not 2B…what the f*&*^?
As a high school teacher every day I have to battle against text-obsessed students trying to get them to learn something other than how to text one another faster. I swear it is like a drug to them. They physically cannot put their phones away. The glazed look in their eyes as they take their vibrating phones out behind their books to “touch base” with whoever is one of the most frightening experiences I have ever had. I’ve never seen such emptiness. I’ve read about it in such novels as Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 and I cringe to think that maybe, somewhere out there in the texting world Bradbury’s cautionary tale is broken down and destroyed in “text-ese.” These are the thoughts that keep me up at night and keep me working such great literature into the school curriculum in hopes of counteracting what can only be called an “assault on grammar and thought”. I cannot tell you how many formal essays I have received where “because” has been shortened to “cuz” and any form of the word “to” is written as “2”. I is no longer capitalized either. It is as if hitting the shift key while typing “I” takes up too much precious time. People, if you can’t hold a thought in your head for the milliseconds it takes to hit the damn shift key, it is time to take the long walk. Pt yrself out of my msry…pls…i cnt hlp u.
Do such sentiments make me a grammar snob? Excellent question. The answer is…probably, but I don’t give a rat’s ass. As an English teacher these things bother me. Grading essays written in such a way causes me great concern. All of a sudden the society in Orwell’s 1984 is closer at hand. Big Brother is watching and we don’t even care because our phone is vibrating and we just have to see if Jamie luvs Bret 4-ever. Wake up my little Proles and put down the damn cell phone…B4 it is 2 L8.