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Txtng: The Gr8 Db8

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Txtng: The Gr8 Db8, 9780199544905 (0199544905), Oxford University Press, 2008
He combines an extraordinary knowledge of linguistics with a gift for popularizing. TLS. A highly consumable work of pop linguistics. Los Angeles Times Excellent. Crystal presents a compelling argument in favour of texting as a force for linguistic ability. Melissa Katsoulis, The Times

"Reports of the demise of the English langauge have been gr8tly exaggerated, according to David Crystal. In his new book, Txtng: The Gr8 Db8, the British linguist dismisses reports that text messaging is bad for the brain, literacy, for language itself. He taps history, technology, and new research to create his counter-argument, a highly cnsumable work of pop linguistics." --Los Angeles Times Book Review

Text messaging has spread like wildfire, especially among young people, who appear to spend most of their time texting, and are unwilling to write much else. Indeed the phenomena is so widespread that many parents, teachers, and media pundits have been outspoken in their criticism of it. Does texting spell the end of western civilization?

In this humorous, level-headed and insightful book, David Crystal argues that the panic over texting is misplaced. Crystal, a world renowned linguist and prolific author on the uses and abuses of English, here looks at every aspect of the phenomenon of text-messaging and considers its effects on literacy, language, and society. He explains how texting began, how it works, who uses it, and how much it is used, and he shows how to interpret the mixture of pictograms, logograms, abbreviations, symbols, and wordplay typically used in texting. He looks at its manifestations in different languages, and explores the ways similar devices have been used in different eras. He finds that the texting system of conveying sounds and concepts goes back a long way--to the very origins of writing. And far from hindering children's literacy, texting turns out to help it.

Illustrated with original art by Ed MacLachlan, the popular cartoonist whose work has appeared in Punch, Private Eye, New Statesman, and many other publications, Txting: The Gr8 Db8 is entertaining and instructive--reassuring for worried parents and teachers, illuminating for teenagers, and fascinating for everyone interested in what's currently happening to language and communication.

About the Author

David Crystal is honorary professor of linguistics at the University of Wales, Bangor. He has written or edited over 100 books and published numerous articles for scholarly, professional, and general readerships, in fields ranging from forensic linguistics and ELT to the liturgy and Shakespeare. His books include the Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language, the Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language, Words, Words, Words (OUP 2006), and The Fight for English (OUP 2006).
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