The question was: “Does the use of contractions, slang and icons in text messaging and email signal the development of a new communication style, or just the death of appreciation of written language? Do the same or similar things happen with your language if it’s other than English? Please provide examples”I think language is a constantly evolving communication tool. Many old people hate that youngs find out new words and change the way they use the old ones.  Althogh we need new words to express new things. The world is faster and faster, at least it seems to me. Faster world needs faster more efficient communication.

We can say, that contractions, slang and icons are signals of a new communication style, but I’m absolutely sure, that it’s not the death of appreciation of written language. I don’t think that today’s people would use Shakespeare’s (1597) language:

“Now is the winter of our discontent Made glorious summer by this sun of York; And all the clouds that lour’d upon our house In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.”

Today, we use a different language than even 50 years ago. We many times cannot understand  our parents and they cannot understand us. I don’t think that written language is not appreciated nowadays. Let’ just look at the Internet! Almost all information can be found here written. We can see, that the number of multimedia is growing, but it’s still mostly text based. Information archiving and searching is text based also. Although as  Brad Linder (2008) wrote Google is able to recognise spoken text in selected Youtube videos, I don’t think that this technology will replace text based storage and search in the near future.

My native language is Hungarian. The problems here are basically the same. We do have an Academy which defines the “official” language, although it’s not forced. But there are some people, who think that anybody using a bit different Hungarian than the official version is uneducated and they think it is unacceptable. The situation is more intresting, because we use a growing number of English words. So many people hate it! They ant to defend the language from foreign words. Although it’s more difficult to express many things in plain Hungarian, than with using English words. Many professions, including IT, use it’s specialised words only in English. Although noadays even the operatingg systems are localised, for me it’s very difficult to use them in Hungarian. For example I know, that I can change the settings in Windows in the Control Panel, but in Hungarian it’s called Vezérlőpult. It’s not a problem, when I myself using the Hungarian version, I can recognise everythin. But it’s etremely difficult to give orders on the phone when I’m not in front of the computer and my partner is using Hungarian version of the software.

Reference list:

William Shakespeare (1597) Richard III [Online] Available from: http://shakespeare.mit.edu/richardiii/index.html (Accessed: 07. February 2010) Brad Linder (2008) Google adds speech recognition to video search [Online] Available from: http://www.downloadsquad.com/2008/07/15/google-adds-speech-recognition-to-video-search/ (Accessed:07. February 2010)