Is Texting Here to Stay by Louis Menand

As a matter of fact in the article under consideration Is Texting Here to Stay by Louis Menand topical points are raised. The article deals with the texting as a phenomenon which has already integrated into our daily lives and will most likely continue taking an important place in distant communication. At the beginning Louis Menand applies to a strong stylist device and asks a kind of rhetorical question. When one first reads it, it is hard to comprehend why it is so dramatic.

Later, the author cites the author of the book on texting David Crystal and proceeds to develop the idea of texting hazard or texting advantages. Crystal considers that any natural changes in the language cannot be harmful; consequently, texting does not corrupt the language or clutter it up, taking a normal course in the mainstream of the language. He finds these changes quite imperceptible, as he compares three billion people’s writing about a trillion messages to “a few ripples” appearing on the surface of the language.

Still, there is a point in stating that the texting function of the cell phone has been a giant leap backward in the science of communication. It is more rational than the Morse code; it seems more primitive and interim. Crystal noticed that with the technological advance cell-phones are getting smaller, but our thumbs are not. Calling a person remains quicker and more efficient than texting. But it is appropriate when people are in friendly terms, in this case they can afford texting.

It is hard to deny that texting has restrictions, it disciplines a person, according to Crystal, who even compares it with writing a sonnet. Both have definite requirements, people may use only a limited number of symbols, that causes inventiveness to hold everything in one text message. Louis Menand considers the phenomenon from the opposite sides, and gives some controversial arguments.

On the one hand, the author points out that texting is not the equivalent of a new language. The method of using acronyms and abbreviations is centuries old and implemented in texting due to modern technology’s development.

Here Menand gives veritable examples of the shortcuts.

On the other hand, the texting has an international tendency of “Englishing” of the languages. As the English language has rather short words and is not heavily inflected, it is often convenient to use an English term instead of the one of the native tongue. The French, for instance, apply to short “now” instead of their “maintenant”. According to Menand, “texting has done some damage to the planet’s cultural ecology, lingo-diversity” (Menand). Speed is also essential in texting, delay is disrespect. The duty to reply to a text message is almost addictive. Moreover, people usually text if they are not willing to have face-to-face communication. The texting results in quite impersonal and automatic information providing. The motto of the texting is: “shortest said, best said”. Once face-to-face communication was quicker than a phone call or a message, now the texting is quick as lightning.

At present the texting seems to remain with mobile-phone users, but it already has alternatives. Despite of the advantages of the texting, one still needs to reach out and communicate in person. A contemporary person should throw into the balance the texting’s pros and cons. On the one scale there will be the convenience, possibility to send a message any time, not to disturb a person and inform him at the same time, when you do not feel like talking. On the other scale there will be isolation, disinterested attitude, vocabulary reduction related to message space economy, etc. Anyway, the texting should not become an addiction and a substitution for face-to-face communication.

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