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Texting that saves lives – Nancy Lublin

Texting that saves lives – Nancy Lublin

When Nancy Lublin started texting teenagers to help with her social advocacy organization, what she found was shocking — they started texting back about their own problems, from bullying to depression to abuse. So she’s setting up a text-only crisis line, and the results might be even more important than she expected.

 

John McWhorter: Txtng is killing language. JK!!!

John McWhorter: Txtng is killing language. JK!!!

Does texting mean the death of good writing skills? John McWhorter posits that there’s much more to texting — linguistically, culturally — than it seems, and it’s all good news.

Linguist John McWhorter thinks about language in relation to race, politics and our shared cultural history.

WHY YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO HIM?

John McWhorter studies how language has evolved — and will evolve — with social, historical and technological developments, in addition to studying and writing about race in America.

In recent work, he’s been urging grammarians to think of email and text messages not as the scourge of the English language but as “fingered speech,” a new form between writing and talking. These digital missives, despite their “shaggy construction,” represent an exciting new form of communication in which “lol” and “hey” are particles, he suggests, and written thoughts can be shared at the speed of talking. Should we worry that knowing how to parse “haha kk” means we’ll lose the ability to read Proust? No, he told the TED Blog: “Generally there’s always been casual speech and formal speech, and people can keep the two in their heads.”

McWhorter teaches at Columbia, where his students, including Yin Yin Lu, Sarah Tully, and Laura Milmed, teach him all about the world of texting. He’s also a contributing editor at The New Republic and TheRoot.com. Among his books on language and on race, a selected list:What Language Is (And What It Isn’t and What It Could Be)Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue: The Untold History of English; and Losing the Race: Self-Sabotage in Black America.

“The man changed my mind about texting. I love to gripe about it, but John McWhorter made me rethink how I felt.”  Ginette Evans on TED.com

 

How Many Text Messages Are Sent Each Year?

How Many Text Messages Are Sent Each Year?

Dec. 3, 2012 (Bloomberg) — In today’s “Bloomberg Big Number,” Bloomberg’s Betty Liu reports that 8 trillion text messages are sent every year. Today marks the 20th anniversary of text messaging. She speaks on Bloomberg Television‘s “In The Loop.” (Source: Bloomberg)

 

Jeff Hancock: The future of lying

Jeff Hancock: The future of lying

Who hasn’t sent a text message saying “I’m on my way” when it wasn’t true or fudged the truth a touch in their online dating profile? But Jeff Hancock doesn’t believe that the anonymity of the internet encourages dishonesty. In fact, he says the searchability and permanence of information online may even keep us honest.

Jeff Hancock studies how we interact by email, text message and social media blips, seeking to understand how technology mediates communication.

Why you should listen to him:

Jeff Hancock is fascinated by the words we choose when sending text messages, composing emails and writing online profiles. An Associate Professor of Cognitive Science and Communications at Cornell University, his research has focused on how people use deception and irony when communicating through cell phones and online platforms. His idea: that while the impersonality of online interaction can encourage mild fibbing, the fact that it leaves a permanent record of verifiable facts actually keeps us on the straight and narrow.

Hancock has also studied how we form impressions of others online, how we manage others’ impressions of ourselves, and how individual personalities interact with online groups.

“[Hancock and his fellow Cornell researchers] tackled what they call deceptive opinion spam by commissioning freelance writers on Mechanical Turk, an Amazon-owned marketplace for workers, to produce 400 positive but fake reviews of Chicago hotels.”  The New York Times