Contextual Texting: ou812 prolly 153 2mr 4eva

Can you decipher the gibberish in the title of today’s post? If you under 15-years-old you certainly can. If you’re over 40 — you might need a clue.

We know how to textually laugh but do we understand the tenets of basic colloquial textual conversation? The New York Times recently reported kids are going crazy with SMS “texting” on their cellular phones and creating their own sub-language to thwart parental control and direct observation:

In a survey released 18 months ago, AT&T found that among 1,175 parents the company interviewed, nearly half learned how to text-message from their children.

More than 60 percent of parents agreed that it helped them communicate, but that sometimes children didn’t want to hear their voice at all. When asked if their children wanted a call or a text message requesting that they be home by curfew, for instance, 58 percent of parents said their children preferred a text.

Is SMS texting degrading proper English — or is it enhancing the way we communicate with each other? Should “texting” even be considered a word?

Or is “texting” now a language — with its own style, grammar, structure and context — that should be studied, taught and honored as a part of a whole new cultural revolution?