Posted by: katelyninfrance | December 7, 2010

Week of no texting- Day two. Idiosyncrasies of text-speak.

Today’s no texting adventures involved me calling my boyfriend at least twice yelling at him to stop texting me. He laughed and is still doing it. Aren’t we a happy couple.

Jokes aside, today was manageable. There were a few times where I REALLY wanted to send a silly text commenting on how John Cage drank a glass of vegetable juice in front of an audience as one of his pieces or perhaps the confusion surrounding the death of a certain dear north quad snowman, but I had to abstain. I think I’m starting to see that, for me at least, texting is less of a necessity but more of a fun way to express myself and communicate with those who are far away from me. If I think of a joke or remember something about a friend who I haven’t seen for awhile, it’s nice to send a message saying so. And since people generally have their phones with them, I know that they will most likely get my message fairly soon after I send it. So in that sense it can be for convenience’s sake really.

So all of this not-texting business has got me thinking about the “language” of texting, or text-speak as one could say. I personally only use abbreviations such as omg, brb, g2g, and the like when joking, although some people shorten almost everything they write into a pseudo new-English. Teachers even say that text-speak has found its way into papers, which is kind of silly and yet pretty interesting. In France they have their own version of text-speak, taken to a more intense level. As I’m sure you all know, the French language is notorious for having lots of letters that when read, only make one sound. This can be annoying to write out, so some young French people have been using a strange syllabic representation of how the words are pronounced phonetically, rather than spelling them correctly. So for example, if you received this in a text message (this is straight from my host brother’s facebook, love you Emeric!): lotre jour kan tu ma apeler g t coucher, that would actually be written as: l’autre jour quand tu m’as appelé j’étais couché. As you can see, there is a dramatic change, and for poor foreigners just learning the language, it can be rather difficult to decipher a wall of confusing phoneme-French. (If you’re interested in learning more specifics, this link right here is pretty interesting: There are, however, tons of French people who are against this new form of writing, as can be seen by the Facebook groups cropping up against it. It’s pretty cool to see how the insta-technology we have  has sort of created new languages, as well as inspired groups of more conservative linguists to come forth. Then again, this is the French we’re talking about. And lord knows that if there’s anything the French like more than wine, cheese, and bread, its protesting against something. But that is why I love them so!

I got off on a bit of tangent there, but I’d say it’s an interesting topic to think about. Anyways, I’ll be back tomorrow with another fun-filled post yay!



  1. Bravo Kate! I hope you make it through the entire week. It is very strange how attached we have become to texting. I was waiting in line to get coffee this morning and the woman working was sooooo busy reading her text messages she almost burned herself with hot water while trying to make hot chocolate at the same time. Now if I find out any of my students are texting one another during my class……Well…………… 🙂

  2. Katelyn!
    C’est trop cool de voir que tu écris encre sur ce blog! Comme ça j’ai de tes nouvelles! Moi aussi j’ai été affectée parla maladie des textos… mes parents mon acheté un portable récemment. Tu as reçu mon e-mail?

  3. Thanks for the comment, Sonya! Maybe I’ll write something about the physical dangers of texting. I mean people text while on bikes here sometimes, it’s terrifying really! D:

    Manoooon! Je viens de te repondre! C’est trop bon d’avoir reçu ton e-mail! ET T’AS UN PORTABLE?! Donne-moi ton numéro et quand j’ai fini cette semaine sans textos je peux tu les envoyer! Je crois qu’il y a un site web où on peut envoyé des textos gratuitment, sinon ça peut couter cher. Mais bon il faut qu’on voit. Bisooous!

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