John Humphrys’ article “I h8 txt msgs; How Texting is wrecking our language” is a cynical piece about how texting is bad for the English language. He believes that English will deteriorate into acronyms and a mnemonic system.
He starts off with explaining his love for the dictionary. Each use of a dictionary leads to enlightenment, according to Humphrys. The newest edition of oxford English dictionary came out; to humphrys’ humor, the new edition “has removed the hyphen from no fewer than 16,000 words.” The fact the hyphen has been removes isn’t what gets to Humphrys, but what he believes to be the reasoning is what shocks him. He believes the Dictionary “has fallen victim to fashion.”
His thesis “it has happened because we are changing the way we communicate with each other, which means...we no longer have time to reach for the hyphen key,” shows exactly what he sees as the source for this text messaging issue affecting our language, laziness.
He goes on, ranting how text messages are “pillaging our punctuation; savaging our sentences; raping our vocabulary.” He goes on to explain how they have begun using “obscure ways of expressing themselves” with abbreviations. He believes there is no real way to know what an abbreviation means, using an example from his own experience. “I had assumed LOL meant ‘lots of love,’ but now I discover it means ‘laugh out loud’.” (187) He questions “how would you know” (187) what an abbreviation really means?
He claims the texters would argue that our dictionaries are living looks. Humphrys’ fear is our written language will become a set of “ever changing abbreviations” (187).