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Nowadays, mobile technologies play an increasingly important role in modern society. Combining the ability to send text, sound, images and even video, mobile phones are becoming a powerful tool in the hands of any user, expanding communication space to inconceivable measures. Humanity is witnessing how a service to send or receive short text messages becomes more popular today, while a mobile text communication, or otherwise, texting, is implemented with its help. Thus, the main aim of this essay is to demonstrate different ways how texting language is contributing to language decline.
Over the centuries of its existence, English language more than once experienced hard times connected with the economic crisis, historical events, abrupt changes in the social sphere. But never before it has been degenerated into such utilitarian means of communication, as it is now, in the era of absolute power of mobile phones and personal computers.
As it was previously mentioned, currently, cell phone is an indispensable attribute of modern mobile lifestyle. It is no coincidence the current young generation is called "Handy-Generation", or "Generation SMS." The most used mobile phone functions are calls and sending / receiving SMS messages. Thus, cell phone is equally used for oral and textual communication. Having no complaints to oral communication, understanding that there are also many problems in it, especially in communication between young people, it is necessary to focus on textual language which stands far from right linguistic forms and constructions.
It is a truth that texting is distributed worldwide. Today, SMS-technology facilitates personalization of communication, generates a new distribution channel for information, which is not tied to a specific location and is not dependent on the time factor. It means that texting gives a possibility to perform interpersonal communication in any place and at any time.
Despite the fact that texting in its improvement and development is based on existing linguistic forms fixed in a written form, or supplemented by different words and concepts borrowed from different network programs such as "chat rooms" or e-mail, a share of novelty really presents in language of SMS messages. It is important to note that this linguistic novelty of texting language is fixed, above all, in the processes used in the past, implemented in the language of the message, as well in the ways they were mutated, improved and enriched with new and not previously known words and their combinations. Of course, everything of this destroys existing rules and lead normal language to decline by the reason that people wants make everything in fast way and do not thinks about possible consequences of their actions.
Summing up different positions on the negative impact of texting, Crystal mentioned that "the popular belief is that texting has evolved as a twenty-first-century phenomenon - as a highly distinctive graphic style, full of abbreviations and deviant uses of language, used by a young generation that doesn't care about standards. There is a widely voiced concern that the practice is fostering a decline in literacy" (Crystal, 2008). This statement shows the fact that texting is harming the modern language as a whole.
Thinking about the reason, why people use texting language, we can state that distinctive feature of SMS messaging is a limited number of characters, which conditions lexical, syntactic and morphological structure of this type of messages. In English, the phenomenon of "short language" which is used in SMS messages, is called txtslang / txtspk (textspeaking) / txttlk (texttalking) / txtmsg (textmessaging) / txtwrit (textwriting) / txtin (texting). For example, instead of the phrase "Happy birthday to you" appears the phrase's SMS equivalent written in a form "HappyB-Day 2U". In such a way, the texts of SMS messages are a lot like discussions in chat, which are written by means of implementation, but oral on their essence.
Let us consider the example of transformation of widely known abbreviation IMO - "in my opinion", selected from an "Urban Dictionary" for the purpose to confirm the above made assumption: IMHO - in my humble opinion; IMCO - in my considered opinion; IMHBCO - in my humble but correct opinion; IMnSHO - in my not so humble opinion (Urban Dictionary, 2013). It becomes obvious that we see the manifestation of varieties of the language game in this context, while verbalization of desire to stand out and surpass what has already been created is also brightly demonstrated. However, in combination, or convergence (juxtaposition) of two or more linguistic features of texting, such as logos and pictograms, abbreviations, acronyms, words with unusual spellings and missing letters, there appears the form, which are hardly having "previous counterparts" in human language. Moreover, such linguistic constructions can really cause trouble in their deciphering giving nothing new to the beauty of language and its semantic significance. Into the acknowledgement of this fact, David Crystal, who is one of the largest modern linguists, provides examples of such entities: - connection of abbreviated and full words: hldmecls - "hold me close"; junctions of logograms and shortened words: 2bctnd - "to be continued"; combination of nonstandard writing with logograms: cu2nite - "see you tonight" (Crystal, 2008).
The following structures are complex structures consisting of four or five linguistic features in each case: iowan2bwu - "I only want to be with you" (full word + abbreviation + shortened word + two logograms + abbreviation + logogram); ijc2sailuvu - "I just called to say I love you" (full word + two abbreviations + logogram + shortened word + full word + word with an unusual spelling + logogram). Thus, all of these examples share one characteristic - the letters, symbols and some words form a single structure without gaps. This way of writing is unusual and is not peculiar to any type of written language. In most of the examples of "pretexting language", where the abbreviated words are separate from each other by spaces, we will never find such long nine-components constructions like in texting: iydkidkwd - "if you don't know I don't know who does". However, the frequency of use of such bulky constructions can be questioned, since it is contrary to the basic principle of texting - saving linguistic efforts.
Critically evaluating, everything mentioned above, it is necessary to state that a tendency to save time and language efforts grows with information growth. And vocabulary suffers significant changes, being the most mobile layer of language. Of course, normal enrichment of human lexicon is conditioned by the presence of lexicology, a section which is responsible for the emergence of new words. But, according to the last researches, many scientists consider that language is in decline as a result of active communication of young people in chat rooms and via SMS (Crystal, 2005). To add, numerous studies have shown that this type of communication, of course, has some differences from the standard varieties of the language, but it inevitably leads to the so-called "disintegration of language." Currently neologisms related to a new sphere of communication pass through a stage of lexicalization and socialization. Some of the new words have entered the vocabulary, and can be considered as terminology of the relevant field of human activity.
Observing the concept of literacy development in the frames of our discussion, it can be mentioned that modern written language acquires features of primitive communication because capital letters disappear, the rules of grammar and spelling are violated, while young people write everything in the way they hear in oral communication. Nevertheless, a new and rather complicated structure of writing, which is designed to reflect the high-speed (telegraph) and "batch" nature of a simple speech, emergences in our eyes. People communicate with each other not thinking about capital letters, commas and question marks; they produce only sounds, and a teenager feverishly texting SMS does the same.
Modern society is a product of a long development of civilization in which the amounts of information flows permeate among all areas of society, and the information itself becomes popular and essential consumer goods. This process receives a title of informatization, while this informatization influences lifestyle, material and spiritual culture, changing human language and taking away its beauty and primary meaning.
Thus, taking everything into consideration, it is possible to conclude that SMS messages are the enemy to normal language, and lead it to decline using different forms of abbreviations, shortenings, etc. Moreover, SMS-communication is a stable and a popular form of communication that not only brought to the language, new, reduced and "low-grade" forms, but it also extended them to many areas of life, and made these wrong forms one of the linguistic norms of language of today's youth. So, having analyzed the basic rules of a message, we are confident enough to talk about the negative impact of SMS-language at oral and written language of the new generation. Thus, we have also proved that the problem of the negative impact of SMS messages to the young people exists and needs its solution.