Thursday, 22 October 2009

The Importance of Language

I am currently attempting to complete a rather tedious application form.  It has several rather annoying essay questions...annoying because whilst I could answer them very quickly they wouldn't be brilliant...they'd just be ok. OK isn't good at the minute...especially when this fellowship is pretty awesome.  One question though gave me A LOT to write...

"How much does it matter, if at all, that texting and twittering treat spelling convention with little respect?"

Well this of course raises many questions.  To me this is not just about the importance of spelling convention but of language as well.  The issue of whether newer forms of communication disrespect language and spelling convention is essentially a debate concerning whether or not spelling convention is needed if there is still a universal understanding of what the writer means.

In most modern day cases the shortening of words and use of “initialisms” is not because society wishes to alter or disrespect language but for speed and space saving.  Twitter and text messaging in particular limit the characters available and therefore the writer needs to condense where necessary to successfully give across their message.  Technological and social change inevitably can bring about language change.

There are individuals of course who change words such as maybe to ‘mebbe’ saving neither time or space.  For my own sanity I like to think it is purely to represent their accent or merely to show informality between friends.  It may just be because they think they are 'cool'.  Merely thinking this makes you extremely uncool.

I believe language is a beautiful thing and encourage new mediums that allow us to share and communicate.  I live in the hope that intellectual people will keep conventional spellings safe.  It's not just spelling but ensuring the ability for universal understanding and the prevention of annoyance.  After's common for us Brits to find American spellings frustrating....color?  No my dear friend it's colour.  It's called English for a reason...follow our lead.

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