Is texting ruining language?


Posted by

Barry Siskind

UFIs Communication Manager

What about this instead of the next paragraph

As Exhibit Managers, we constantly look at ways to communicate with our stakeholders.

I am sure many of us have wondered;

How to best communicate that our event is the right one to attend or exhibit in?

How to ensure that new audiences are attracted to our events?

How to remain relevant in the eyes of our stakeholders?

These and many more may be the questions that have kept many of us up late at night pondering.

Like many issues that seem complicated, this one has an answer that is staring us in the face. It’s called texting. Now before you stop reading this post let me tell you about a US based linguist named John McWhorter who recently delivered an interesting TED Talk on this very issue.

http://www.ted.com/talks/john_mcwhorter_txtng_is_killing_language_jk.html?utm_source=newsletter_daily&utm_campaign=daily&utm_medium=email&utm_content=button__2013-04-22

According to McWhorter texting is the closest thing we have today to the spoken word. For example think about the last communication you sent to your Stakeholders. Take a moment and read it out loud. Now ask yourself if it was written the way you speak? The answer is often no. When we write, we are often more formal and careful about what we say. When we speak on the other hand, the conversation is often more fluid and we use more casual words. According to McWhorter we speak with smaller “packets” of words, usually 7-10 in the average sentence,(albeit there is a difference in this statistic according to language and culture).

Formal communications are not speaking at all. But when people text they are actually writing the way they speak.

I found this TED talk fascinating because it holds the lesson for all of us that it’s time to embrace texting as a real means of communicating those all so important messages.

 

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