Thursday, February 26, 2009


(A "digital native" dialogue – the names have been created for this example )

Mary: Sup pl?
James: Nm doing my hwk
Mary: U watched the movie?
James: 4 got- u?
Mary: y? It was gr8! – funny! Rofl…htbt
James: OMG 2bad I missed it!
Mary: Do we have Spanish hwk?
James: Idk…idc
Mary: K, wtv
James: Gtg
Mary: Np
James: L8r
Mary: ttyl

I guess if I am a "digital immigrant" (term used by Prensky) I have to start learning some of this! I have to thank my 8th graders for taking the time to teach me some of these.

Is "bff" or "nvm" a new language? I would not call this a language; but a social register, a digital jargon, an adaptation of language to fit technological needs. The beauty of a real language is that it is innate; human beings have the ability to acquire it and once we have it, modify it depending on needs – like in this case, to fit a tool in a rapid changing world.

If you teach language arts or writing...what do you think? Syntax, spelling, this new register hitting on quality writing?

Reality is this digital jargon is out there which forces all of us to learn it; it is necessary. Call it a “language?” I don’t think so …that’s 4now…brb.

1 comment:

  1. I do wonder what the English language is going to look like in a few decades. Right now this all seems a little crazy, not "real" words, but when I think about all the "crazy" new words that are now legitimized in Webster's Dictionary, I'm sure that these short forms won't be surprising us in future.