Are emojis ruining traditional communication? One linguist says ‘text speak’ can help us understand each other better… but another calls the idea ‘plain daft and delusional’
- The culture of mobile communication inevitably, compromises communication
- Linguist Gretchen McCulloch argues that this is not necessarily a bad thing
- She says that emojis enliven social interactions, and add to language strength
- But other experts disagree saying grandparents in Britain outperform their grandchildren in basic skills, including literacy because of this communication
It may be considered that the more you replace words with emojis, the worse our grammar and language skills become.
The culture of mobile communication – or quickfire back and forth emails, posts and texts – inevitably, compromises traditional writing and communication.
But according to linguist Gretchen McCulloch, author of Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language, ‘textspeak’ is humanity’s most ‘open-source project’.
She says that emojis and memes can instantly relay your emotions, for instance, a grumpy cat, will convey disdain in a more concise way.
However, Chris McGovern, chairman of the Campaign for Real Education doesn’t share this view saying that emojis dumb down language and nurture laziness.
According to linguist Gretchen McCulloch, author of Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language, ‘textspeak’ is humanity’s most ‘open-source project’. She says that emojis and memes can instantly relay your emotions convey disdain in a more concise way.
‘Just as we find things on the internet by following links from one place to another, language spreads and disseminates through our conversations and interactions.’
Ms McCulloch, says this type of language helps enliven our social interactions, and that the fluidity of language is actually its biggest strength.
‘I mean, fashion can change, why can’t language?’, she argues.
‘Linguists are generally very positive about language evolution, and it’s unfortunate that this message hasn’t been conveyed to broader society as much because we’re still dealing with a history of people worshipping Latin,’ she told Vox.
‘It’s really interesting to look at how different people, of different ages and eras, are using language on the internet.
She says that there’s a misperception that if people are using language differently, then it must be wrong.
‘There’s not one right way of using language online. We can use language differently, and it can actually help us better understand each other.’
But not everyone shares this view.
Chris McGovern, also a former Government adviser told Mail Online that those who welcome emojis as a beneficial evolution of language are ‘naive, delusional and plain daft.’
Chris McGovern, a former Government adviser and chairman of the Campaign for Real Education told Mail Online that those who welcome emojis as a beneficial evolution of language are ‘naive, delusional and plain daft’
‘They do not seem to understand that extinction is part of evolution, too. That is the direction in which mastery of good written English is heading and the increasing addiction to, and reliance on, picture language in the form of emojis is accelerating the decline. Emojis dumb down language and nurture laziness.
According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) grandparents in Britain outperform their grandchildren in basic skills, including literacy.
‘Around a third of 11 year-olds have just failed to reach the so-called ‘floor standard’ in their SATs,’ he said.
‘Employers are forever complaining that at least 20 per cent of school leavers are illiterate and, therefore, unemployable.’
He said: ‘I am not a killjoy or and, of course, emojis can be fun but they should come with a literacy health warning.’
ARE EMOJIS RUINING THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE?
Emojis may be a fun form of communication but they are destroying the English language, a recent study by Google has revealed.
Smiley faces, love hearts, thumbs up and other cartoon icons – rather than words – are the preferred method of communication by teenagers, who are considered the worst offenders regarding the decline in grammar and punctuation.
More than a third of British adults believe emojis are the reason for the deterioration in proper language usage, according to the study commissioned by the Google-owned site YouTube.
Emojis were first used by Japanese mobile phone companies in the late 1990s to express an emotion, concept or message in a simple, graphic way. Now, Twitter feeds, text messages and Facebook posts are crammed with them
Of the two thousand adults, aged 16 to 65, who were asked their views, 94 per cent reckoned English was in a state of decline, with 80 per cent citing youngsters as the worst offenders.
The most common errors made by Brits are spelling mistakes (21 per cent), followed closely by apostrophe placement (16 per cent) and the misuse of a comma (16 per cent).
More than half of British adults are not confident with their command of spelling and grammar, the study also found.
Furthermore, around three-quarters of adults rely on emoji to communicate, in addition to a dependence on predictive text and spell checking.
The use of emojis has seeped into our culture to such an extent that the Oxford Dictionary’s ‘Word of the Year’ in 2015 wasn’t actually a word at all – it was the Face With Tears emoji, which shows just how influential the little graphic images have become.
They were first used by Japanese mobile phone companies in the late 1990s to express an emotion, concept or message in a simple, graphic way.