The Idea of an Essay, Volume 4

122 The Idea of an Essay: Volume 4 From Textbook Tradition to Time-Saving Textese Michael Nuzzo Ourday-to-dayinteractionsarequicklyprogressingfromtextbook tradition and to time-cutting textese. People are communicating more than ever by phone. Many people have been and are being drawn towards the language of textese. Text messages are typically comprised of abbreviated words and phrases, lack of punctuation, and emoticons. Emoticons are symbolic representations of faces which are usually constructed from typed characters to produce a visual image. These emoticons, “incorrect” spellings, and abbreviations are called “textisms.” Textisms make up the language of textese. The main idea behind the language of textese is to provide a means of communication that can be written and understood by almost everyone, but is also quick to compose. To allow everyone be able to easily and efficiently use textese, there are little to no rules associated with it.The only “rule” is, the reader must be able to understand what is trying to be communicated by the author. But, the author is also trying to save as much time as possible while writing. Usually, a balance of these two seemingly opposite goals, is achieved by utilizing emoticons, creating phonetically correct words, and/or omitting some letters in words or abreviating common phrases. Some say that texting is too random and unruly, and is causing an overall decline in the literacy of children and adults alike, while others believe that instant messagingmay actually help improve literacy ability. Studies show that due to many other factors in an individual’s life, texting is mostly a reflection of one’s literacy ability, but at times, may also support the growth of literacy creativity. Of course, as every person is an individual with different personalities and learning styles, texting and instant messaging will have slightly different effects on each individual’s literacy ability. Many diverse studies have been completed regarding the effects, if any, texting and instant messaging have on one’s literacy, and although there are slight