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  1. Newbie
    Retired English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Mar 2011
    • Posts: 1
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    Limited space communication

    A robust language thrives on diversity and user adaption, but
    does limiting not only words, but word use (tweeting, texting, white space, scannability, social media, etc.) move U.S. English toward more efficient and precise communication or erodes the language?

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Laos

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 51,857
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    Re: Limited space communication

    I am not sure that limits make language more efficient- the telegram didn't. It might improve our ability to be concise at the time of writing, but once the immediacy has worn off, even our own text messages can be hard to understand. Sometimes when I look back for something in old chat conversations for some information, they can make for a very difficult read, with cross-posting, abbreviations and references that are hard to fathom, etc. Our rapid communication often requires an awful lot of direct engagement and context to make sense; it may be efficient at the time, but two years later it can look like gibberish.

    Some things will be eroded- you ask about US English, but I believe that modern communication will probably erode many of the distinctions between the variants of English. When I started teaching, books often featured a lesson or two on British/American English, which often consisted of teaching vocab like tap/faucet, but for the last decade I have been in daily contact with speakers of many variants. This wider and more frequent contact is likely to have a considerable impact over time, and be an erosion, but a positive one.
    Last edited by Tdol; 30-Mar-2011 at 10:29. Reason: Reference to not doing homework removed after seeing Member Type, and answered

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