Texting has added a new dimension to language use, but its long-term impact is negligible. It is not a disaster.
Sending a message on a mobile phone is not the most natural of ways to communicate. The keypad isn't linguistically sensible.
Anyone interested in language ends up writing about the sociological issues around it.
Text messaging is just the most recent focus of people's anxiety; what people are really worried about is a new generation gaining control of what they see as their language.
Ever since the arrival of printing - thought to be the invention of the devil because it would put false opinions into people's minds - people have been arguing that new technology would have disastrous consequences for language.
At any one time language is a kaleidoscope of styles, genres and dialects.
Likewise, there is no evidence that texting teaches people to spell badly: rather, research shows that those kids who text frequently are more likely to be the most literate and the best spellers, because you have to know how to manipulate language.
English has been this vacuum cleaner of a language, because of its history meeting up with the Romans and then the Danes, the Vikings and then the French and then the Renaissance with all the Latin and Greek and Hebrew in the background.
A feature of English that makes it different compared with all other languages is its global spread.
Vocabulary is a matter of word-building as well as word-using.
Language has no independent existence apart from the people who use it. It is not an end in itself; it is a means to an end of understanding who you are and what society is like.
Spellings are made by people. Dictionaries - eventually - reflect popular choices.
It took three years to put Shakespeare's words together, there were a lot of words to be studied and a lot of words to be sorted out, and it proved to be a major project.
The story of English spelling is the story of thousands of people - some well-known, most totally unknown - who left a permanent linguistic fingerprint on our orthography.
Although many texters enjoy breaking linguistic rules, they also know they need to be understood.
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