RE: The Demise Of The English Language In 140 Characters Or Less

December 20, 2011

A recent entry argued that the “English [sic] language” is being diluted by abbreviations, caused by character limits & Twitter. I disagree.

First, abbreviations aren’t English-exclusive. c-à-d, the opinion I’m addressing was flawed before it was written. Ignoring that…

Character limits are actually a great thing to happen to language. Abbreviations might be a side effect, albeit one that’s worth it.

Think of Twitter as microblogging. It’s a service used to publish opinions to an audience. But it’s immeasurably better than blogging.

There aren’t character limits on blog entries. This allows authors to drone on and on and on. It can take paragraphs to make a single point.

140 characters command writers to be concise. With few sentences to make each point, writers are forced to scrutinize each post.

Readers also benefit. Twitter users often follow hundreds of others, & absorb more information at any moment than anyone. It makes us smart.

The result is a level of engagement between writers and readers not imaginable even five years ago.

We’re writing less and talking more, thanks to Twitter particularly. Language is flourishing, abbreviations notwithstanding.

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