Technology and Language
Has Slang Taken Over the Typing World?

By Shirley Lin

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Technology has been a great benefit for our modern world. Instead of writing letters and waiting for the post office to send them and give your correspondent’s reply, we have computers and phones. No longer do we need to wait endlessly to talk to one another. A few clicks of a mouse, a few taps on a keypad and boom, instant messaging. Your correspondent can then reply to you within seconds.

Consequently, modern teens have been shortening words, hoping to save time when typing or they just want to look cool. Words are cut down and letters are replaced with ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) instead of the traditional alphabet. “Leet” speak is one example of letter replacement. It uses various combinations of ASCII to substitute the alphabet’s letters.
    d03$ 1t 1ook w13rd w3hn 1 typ3 l3ik th1$? What does that even mean? Apparently, that sentences says “does it look weird when I type like this?” Yes, yes it does. The reason why I can even make out what it says is because my friend has typed in leet speak before to me.

Freshman Dheyon Lee of Milpitas High School said, “Leet speak is so time consuming.” So why do people like gamers type in that way? To look cool and seem knowledgeable of computers is one thing, but typing in a language which takes longer time than normal speech just seems unreasonable.

Texting and instant messaging are often where words are cut down. You is “u,” heard is “herd”, what is “wut” and don’t is “dun” as part of the slang. It doesn’t make much of a difference to type that one to two extra letters but people still type the shortened version anyways. I feel like a hypocrite for saying this but I do this too. On instant messaging or in texts, I prefer to use “u” and use “2” to replace “to”. I realize that I shouldn’t be straying from using proper language and correct spelling, but it’s become a habit.

On occasions, I have even started to type you as “u” for my essays. After that, I’ve started to try and change my ways, hoping to not enter “computer talk” where proper grammar should be. This leads me to wonder. Will the future kids of America be typing using shortened words too? Does this mean that there will be a drastic decrease in children and teens’ ability to write and type correctly as well as using complete sentences with the proper spelling? I surely hope not. Maybe it doesn’t seem like a big issue  right now, but this computer talk can be more dangerous than it seems.