Monday, June 4, 2007

OMG! Texting has its drawbacks, OK?

R u part of the texting generation?

I've had limited experience with this phenomenon. Maybe it's because the keys on my cell phone aren't conducive to texting. Maybe it's because I prefer to engage in good old-fashioned voice conversations with folks.

However, millions of Americans -- especially preteens, teens and young adults -- are texting fanatics.

One of them was sitting next to me on a flight over the weekend from Houston to Austin. Throughout the entire 30-minute journey, Mr. Cool (a dude in his late teens or early 20s) was sending and receiving text messages -- despite the fact that the use of all portable electronic devices is prohibited in the air.

And I've lost track of the number of times a young motorist (usually of the female variety) has whizzed by me on the highway while sending or responding to a text. I'd like to send those motorists a not-so-nice text informing them that I don't want to be killed as the result of a text-and-run crash.

Aside from the fact that texting can be a nuisance, it's also giving life to a new lexicon. The text language is featured prominently and cleverly in a new TV commercial for Ma Bell. In this ad, we learn in an exchange between preteen texter Beth Ann and her frazzled mom that TISNF means "This is so not fair!", BFF translates into "best friend forever" and OMGINBD means "Oh my gosh, it's no big deal." OMGIWTU! For those of you not well-versed in text, that's "Oh my god, I wanna throw up!"

With three-fourths of cell phone users reporting that they're texters and about two-thirds of parents indicating that texting improves communication with their kids, this botching of the English language won't be vanishing. TISNF.

RIP, English language.

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