If you’ve read George Orwell’s 1984 then you will be familiar with the concept of Newspeak, by means of which totalitarian government was able to restrict the population’s ability to exercise freedom of expression or originality of thought by limiting the range of language which was available to them. The idea behind this was to effectively crush resistance and all but eliminate the possibility of rebellion or revolution because not only speech but thought itself was effectively chained.
Well, the txtspk generation are doing that to themselves voluntarily. By reliance on acronyms of clichés and the reduction of words (for the sake of economy of data and swiftness of typing, apparently – incredible given how little they often seem to have to say), meaning is concealed and clarity is lost; whilst all sense of ambiguity, from which may stem new ideas and fresh chains of thought, is curtailed and extinguished. Theoretical debate becomes sterile and philosophy stagnates.
Anyone who appreciates humour, literature, poetry or song will be aware that each of them is an art form and that language is the palette from which they are drawn. Imagine Monet trying to create impressionism using only seven colours, with no facility to mix or blend, and you will surely perceive the limitations to which I am alluding.
Historically, language has evolved in order to clarify nuances of meaning and to evoke lyricism, the poetry of the voice; now, alas, one rather imagines that Lady Chatterly’s Lover would be strictly a wham, bam, tx ma’am sort of bloke whilst the Duke Orsino, god help us, would speak of techno as the food of love (and who, with any sense of pleasure, could truly match the tempo of one hundred and twenty beats per minute?).
Truly visionary thought requires a playground without limitations. We may only hope that future thinkers will rail against the restraints of modern minimalism and thus be able to liberate their consciousness. 2b or not 2b: it’s a puzzler, innit? lol.