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SMS Language

The definition of basic necessities has changed since long. Most of us cannot imagine a day without internet, computers, and cell-phones. Alas! But that includes me. As the mode of our communication has changed, so has the written language we use. The Short Messaging Service, SMS, is a modified, derogatory version of English language. It is polluting the rich and varied English language.

Some of the illustrations of this language are: de for the, dey for they, u for you, c for see, 2 for to or too, v for we, y for why, gr8 for great, dis for this, wud, shud and so on. What is more surprising that this kind of language has become a means of communication that is practiced everywhere: Communities, Chatting, blogging, rational discussions and is more prevalent in South-Asian countries like India and Pakistan. However people in western countries, where this language could be a dialect, still practice good written English.

Do we really need this kind of language? Personally: NO. We can communicate better with good, appropriate English. It is annoying to read long texts of this kind and I prefer to skip them. After all putting something on paper means it is intended to be read by someone. Keeping this in mind we must get a little introspective and ask ourselves: Will I use this language for my school, college report, for my resume, for my office reports? Is this language a valid one? Would I take this up if this were a course in arts? Will I read a book in this language written by my favorite author?

Let me say: It is a customized language. E.G. someone might write 2mw while the other may write 2mrw for tomorrow. There are no protocols for the usage of this language. And so the major concern associated with this kind of language is misinterpretation. Words like wud, shud, cuz don’t even exist in English language. dis- (this) is a prefix, dat (that) is an acronym for Digital Audio Tape, den (then) is lions abode, dere(there) is to hurt and so on. There is no way to interpret 4m as this can be from or 4am. Ma(a) (read my) in English is European Gull and in Hindi (read Hinglish) it is mother, shud (e) (should) is the leftover of rice mills. How do you interpret sim (read seem), dip (can also be read as deep), bk (generally back), tt (another SMS variation of that), gr8 (great), l8r (later). This means reader goes through immense pains to decipher your written work. Why write in this case?

People claim that language evolves. Maybe ‘thou’ is replaced by ‘you‘ but let us not forget that ‘thou’ is a poetical expression during Shakespearian days. Language has evolved for the convenience of people and was modified to suit the needs of every man. It is a global language. It has defined structure, grammar, punctuations, rules etc. Words have spellings. There are homophones. Do we really, really need to redefine them? SMS-language is not for the convenience of the plebian.

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