February 17, 2013 by dontbringlulubook
The advancement of technology is everywhere you look and even in places you don’t expect to find it. Computer games played on PCs, lap-tops, I-pads, Kindles and phones absorb the attention of those heading into their teenager years and, as was revealed in the news just a few days ago, people check their mobile phones every six minutes which borders on the obsessional. There’s no doubt that technology, in one form or another, rules our lives. It’s our window to social media, our address book (if we lose out phones then trying to call anybody becomes nigh on impossible as people rarely write numbers down these days), our digital photo album, our watch and alarm clock and an important business tool in terms of communicating with the outside world. It’s also the downfall of many when texts or emails are discovered being sent to those they shouldn’t.
So what effect does all this technology have on the future of the written word? Nowadays, time is so much of the essence that everything is abbreviated to the shortest form possible that still enables us to get our message across: “C U 2nite”; “Ltrs”; “LOL” – some expressions are used so often that they are slowly making their way into the English Dictionary. But what does this mean for the English language? Will certain words start to die out due to lack of use in favour of the quick abbreviations used primarily in text but already creeping their way into many forms of literature?
For Ron Onions, one of the co-authors of the book “Don’t Bring Lulu” and a British TV reporter based in New York at a momentous period of US history, covering the moon landings and the assassination of Martin Luther King, “reporter speak” may have been used when preparing an article but the accuracy of the written and spoken word was so important when ensuring the correct details were relayed to the general public.
Whilst English is still a core subject required to be studied at school and the passion for reading and owning books lives on, then confining “text speak” to the medium it was initially intended means the beauty of so many words will be preserved for a while longer. After all, there are thousands of words that could not be abbreviated, should one even wish to – and there’s something strangely impressive about using a word so long that no-one dares attempt to spell it.