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The Contender
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6 Points

Are "sms" and "IMs" ruining the english language....

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/20/2010 Category: Education
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 10,789 times Debate No: 13426
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (9)
Votes (1)




LOL"Laughing out loud"
TC"Take care"
GM"Good Morning"

Are we in the disguise of modernising and shortening the english language, actually ruining it! The old english was great and the new one even sipler and hence greatest but is the new english language that we are creating by changing spellings for our own conviniences and creating abbrevations so that we have to type less, really improving the language....
Greatest of writers have adorned the languge, beautifying it with tere works and are not we actually...impurifying the language in the technological world?
characters make words and words paragraphs! of...SMS and instant messaging will soon destroy the impurity of the language!


I thank my opponent for instigating this new and interesting debate.


1. The English Language is Already Ruined.

There are so many things wrong with the English language, oh where do I start!

a. The English language is the epitome of an incomprehensible labyrinth of pointless rules and contradictions to those rules. Need I go in-depth? Just look at the words "tough" and "through". Why in the world do they mix the o, u, g and h letters together in-order to make the F or OO sound? Don't even get me started on the word "bologna"(for those who may not know, it's pronounced bu-loe-nee).

English is meant to have a phoneme alphabet which means each letter represents a specific sound [1]. This is opposed to a syllabogram alphabet which would have each letter represent a syllable [2] or a logogram alphabet that would have each letter represent a word [3].

Alas, English is a complete and utter failure at achieving a proper and efficient phoneme system. Each letter can make a wide variety of sounds or stand there with absolutely no meaning and be silent, some sounds don't have their own letter and when some letters are combined they change their sound entirely to one that in no way entails the individual sounds these letters make apart from each other.

b. The English language does not possess enough words for effective communication of concepts. Just take the word "love" for example. Those who speak English find it nearly impossible to give a proper definition for the word love because it is used for so many different concepts. "I love this pizza", "I love my siblings", "I love my friends", "I love my wife", "I'm gonna love you all night long", "You look lovely"; according to the English language these are all the same concept, but they are not. Many other languages have separate words for these expressions.

c. Not only can letters have separate sounds but words can have separate meanings. Not in the same sense of the word "love", which unfortunately tries to describe a single concept, but completely unrelated concepts. "I'm going to take a little run", "I can't get the machine to run", "Help me row the boat", "Lets sit in the first row", "You are as light as a feather", "Can you see the light", "I'm doing well", "I'm in a well".

d. Words may mean something else and be spelled a different way, yet they sound the same. "Two", "too", "to", "they're", "their", "there", "sow", "so", "hi", "high", "right", "write".

e. The English language is riddled with unnecessary complexity. There is so much that I can't cover it all here, but here are a few more examples.

The "I before E, except after C" rule; it is an absolutely pointless rule that is often contradicted. "Science", "ancient", "deficient", "neighbor" and "weigh" all defy the rule.

Plurals; most of the time we just put an S on the end of words to designate that there are more than one, but often there are exceptions. "Geese", "sheep", "oxen", "cacti", "fish" and "data"(do you even know what the singular of data is? It's datum.), just to name a few. As you could see, some words don't even change at all. Why don't we just put an S at the end of all of them? Because people are stupid, that's why.

f. The purpose of language is to effectively communicate concepts from one to another. Our ability to do that is greatly hindered with so much pointless complexity and inconsistency in our language. It takes much longer in our childhood than it should to speak and write properly. I would go as far to say that most adults don't even have it figured out. My mom is always saying "aten" instead of "eatin", no matter how many times she's corrected.

2. Text Language has the Right Idea

Simplification is exactly what our language needs and that is what this modified text English is offering us. If we had just let go of institutionalized language and let it naturally evolve likes it's meant to, we may just have the perfect language by now. It's not too late to do that. Let language evolution take it's natural course and it will grow into something much more effective.

I anticipatively turn the floor over to my opponent.


Debate Round No. 1

Pro opponenet has given a great argument and has fulfilled the essence of debate..which remains to increase our level of its my turn

The question is not howmany faults english has, the question is " Are SMSs destroying our language"

A Report from Opera news:


"here is no doubt that the Web and other modern technology have a significant impact on what and how we write. But is it the effect positive? Is language suffering?
One concern that is held by many people, especially those in education, is that texting on mobile phones and the use of instant message chat and short Twitter messages is changing the way that people write, and that it is making people harder to understand. Some teachers would even argue that this trend is destroying the English language!

An English teacher named Ian Thomas from St. Kentigern College in Auckland, New Zealand, says many students' written English has become bland and simplistic as a result of texting. He claims that he receives essays handed in with shorthand like "u" in place of "you" and "2" in place of "to" or "too", and that students don't even consciously realize that they are writing in this fashion.

Mr. Thomas goes on to say that when asked to translate text slang back to English, they are only able to identify 70% of textisms as being incorrect English.

Personally I find it a bit concerning that people would be losing the ability to speak correctly and clearly, influenced in part by the limitations of modern input devices (12 button phone keypads), SMS (140 characters or so) and perhaps more significantly, laziness."

An agument from another debate that took place on BBC news
Is txt ruining the English language?


"Exam markers have expressed concerns over the use of text messaging language in exam answers.
The proof of its increased usage came when a 13-year-old Scottish schoolgirl handed in an essay written completely in text message shorthand, much to the bemusement of her teacher.

One extract said: "My smmr hols wr CWOT. B4, we used 2go2 NY 2C my bro, his GF & thr 3 :- kids FTF. ILNY, it's a gr8 plc."

Can you translate the above passage? R U a txt addict? Do you think txting is killing off the English language? R is it jst gr8 4 tkn 2 m8s?"

Another one,


"The teenagers are using it now for messaging and chatting but I can assure you that they will get used to it in the future and they will find it difficult to read literature books and linguistics books. the people who say that texting is not dangerous they are killing our English without realizing what they are going. I am say this though I am not a native speaker of English Language. English is not also a second language for me ."

Now let me present another SMS that a friend sent me right today morning

2B Or nt 2Bs d ?
wtr ts nblr in mnd t sffr
slngs nd ROs of otrgs frtun
Or tk rms agnst ac f trbls
nd by oppsing end thm?
to die to zzz....

What do you think shakespeare would have said had he read this? The greatest of his own works in a new way?
Would he accept this new version?
now try this
I m (.) "I am lonely"
h%kd "hooked"
RU + " Are you cross?"

Many of my friends are experts when it comes to typing...but none can even read The Da Vinci code without help?
That is our new generation...all they know is how to use english puntuations to make words and words to make paragraphs .

Like Marshall McLuhan said
"We become what we behold."
Holding the shorter version of Phone and Internet are we not ourselves becoming shorter?
Well reports say that people used to SMSs tend to have more grammatical mistakes and find difficult to read proper english...

Here are confessions fom an SMS addicts


"eah kinda, like i find myself when im writing essays in school..writing words like 'ritin' insted of 'writing' and 'dat' instead of 'that' because im so used to using it on msn and text, and i can only write properly if im really thinking about what im typing. Other words i often write wrong in school is: wrong-rong, they-dey, now-nw.

Even my teacher wrote 'u' instead of 'you' on the board the other day... "

"texting to me is is great but i hate stupid abbreviations like LOL! at first i thought his meant lots of love then i found out it means laugh out Loud ! What's that all about ?

I think people that do this think they are really smart, trendy and "cool" well i have news for you its not smart, you sound like a total moron, if you want to laugh out loud call me instead, stop being a lazy cheapskate make the call instead, stop being a slave to the mobile phone companies, Verbal conversation says much more than a text which in a lot of cases can be totally misunderstood."

In a poll held by,
53% voters had view that yes SMS and IMs are indeed destroying english Language..

My last argument,


"SMS ruining English'

By Rosli Abidin Yahya
With mobile phones now within reach of young pupils, English teachers here were worried that widely-used short-messaging short-hand could one day spoil the students' command of the English language.

Teachers said the truncated English words of (Short Message Service) SMS have now found their way in English compositions of students.

They said pages were often riddled with hieroglyphics which simply destroyed the beauty of the language.

Truncated words were necessary in SMS as one message could only accommodate 160 alphabets and numbers as well as spaces.

Therefore, SMS are usually sent in truncated forms that could affect students' learning ability to master the language.

SMS truncated words include 2 (to), b4 (before) and u (you) and could also be simplified such as wer (where), r (are), fren (friend) and bro (brother).

So a sentence like "A friend of my brother went to the place before" could turn to be "A fren of my bro wen 2 d place b4".

"With mobile phones within reach of students as young as nine, frequent use of truncated and simplified English words may cause concern to their literary standards.

"Prolonged usage of such meaningless words would destroy their ability to pronounce words correctly," an English teacher said.

They said continuous usages would cause a decline in grammar and written English as pupils think orally and write phonetically.

"It is alright for adults as they have good command of English and their purpose of truncation is to save time and space.

"But it is not a good development for children," they said.

"Even if mobile companies increase the number of alphabets, numbers and spaces in SMS, people would continue truncated words as they do not want to waste their time writing words in full."

The stage is open for my opponent......


FREEDO forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


rohitmulange forfeited this round.



//The question is not howmany faults english has, the question is " Are SMSs destroying our language"//

Yes, I see that very clearly. My argument for why SMS is not destroying the language is that English is unnecessarily complex and that SMS is a movement in the direction of simplification.

//"here is no doubt that the Web and other modern technology have a significant impact on what and how we write. But is it the effect positive? Is language suffering?//

Haha, a grammatical error from your source. How ironic.

//2B Or nt 2Bs d ?
wtr ts nblr in mnd t sffr
slngs nd ROs of otrgs frtun
Or tk rms agnst ac f trbls
nd by oppsing end thm?
to die to zzz....//

I've never seen anything like this used before. Now, I'm not saying you're lying about it, but just saying that you saw this from your friend is definitely not a legitimate source.

//In a poll held by,
53% voters had view that yes SMS and IMs are indeed destroying english Language..//

Your source is some vague forum that is in no way a recognized polling organization.

//other parts of arguments//

I'd just like to point out that you had various spelling and/or grammar mistakes. This doesn't effect your arguments but you've got to admit it's pretty funny and it also gives me the point for that.

=== ARGUMENTS 2 ===

The Meme-ology of SMS --- It's usefulness --- Why it won't replace regular English

SMS is a meme.

"A meme (pronounced /ˈmiːm/, rhyming with "cream") is a postulated unit of cultural ideas, symbols or practices, which can be transmitted from one mind to another through writing, speech, gestures, rituals or other imitable phenomena. (The word is a blend of "gene" and the Greek word μιμητισμός (/mɪmetɪsmos/) for "something imitated".) Supporters of the concept regard memes as cultural analogues to genes, in that they self-replicate and respond to selective pressures." [1]

It has come about existence due to a cultural need for it. It has come about from the conscious decision of each individual who uses it because they reasoned it to be useful for their situation. A completely grass-roots movement without a coercive central authority.

SMS can be thought more of as a code than a language.

"To assume that text messaging will "destroy" the English language shows a certain lack of understanding on the part of the person holding this misconception. Texting is still English. The people using this form of "written" English are still communicating in English. To understand what is being typed, they must have a good understanding of syntax and grammar already. They must be able to recognize speech and sentence patterns, to predict accurately what someone is going to say, especially since the words probably won't be typed out. Unfortunately, for many young people, this understanding is so fundamental that they can't access it in any way other than through texting.

With all the abbreviations and acronyms used in typing text messages, texting reads like some sort of code. This is nothing new. In fact, what you are reading now is a code. It is a code that many of us understand because we have been taught this code by the adults and other people we accept as linguistic authorities. This code relates ideas in the English language. So does Morse code, which is a system of sounds transcribed as dots and dashes that represent messages interpreted as recognizable English by those people who understand the code. However, it doesn't sound or look anything like the code I'm currently using.

The use of codes is widespread, from law enforcement agencies to businesses to criminal organizations. Each one uses a code exclusive to it, except maybe in the case of street gangs. Military groups use codes no one else understands so that ideas in English may be communicated without being easily intercepted. Businesses may use codes simply for ease of communication. Even outside of any code, business communication already uses its own grammatical standards, which can be just as strict as those in English classrooms." [2]

So you see, SMS serves a specific purpose like any other code which is a modification of English. It makes the job it is applicated to more efficient. It won't be replacing English, both forms have their place independent of whatever flaws they may have.

Furthermore, lets just assume for a second, and hear me out, that SMS does end up replacing English(which is ridiculous) what? All you have attempted to do is provide evidence that it may do so but not that this would necessarily be a bad thing. Now, I'm not saying that it would be a good thing, I'm just saying you haven't proved your point. It may or may not actually improve the language.

I thank my opponent for this interesting debate and urge the voters to give him the conduct point for my forfeit.

=== SOURCES ===

Debate Round No. 3
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by Pandora9321 5 years ago
As for my opinion which I know you all want to read...
It doesn't "ruin" the English language. It simply makes people terrible at spelling.
Posted by tvellalott 5 years ago
Narrow the language, narrow the mind.
Posted by FREEDO 6 years ago
Ooohh noooo, I was at a meeting and it lasted longer than I thought it would. I was unusually busy the last few days. Please just don't post any new arguments and we'll pretend this debate is one round less. You get the conduct point and if I forfeit again you win. Again, I apologize.
Posted by FREEDO 6 years ago
Aaaw, damnnnn. I don't have time to post now and when I do I'll probably only have a half an hour left.
Posted by thewhiteviper31407 6 years ago
my friend, hello and thank you for inviting me to this debate on the English language. I concur readily that technological advances are more detrimental than beneficial to the English Language. The nuances of tradition are lost in the modernization of this wondrous dialect. The Puritan authors such as John Owen and John Bunyan must be rolling over in their moldy old graves at this time wondering what is going on with the modern English language? With the 21st Century modernization theire of. In 400 years time, we in the year 2010 will likely be doing quite the same. Calculators are another detriment to tis dilemma, where children do not learn mathematics as quickly as we in the mid to late 40 age group id as well as our parents and grand parents. Robit my friend, thank you once again for the invitation , your friend, Lewis
Posted by gerrandesquire 6 years ago
yeah, well he's a poet. They can get like that.
Posted by FREEDO 6 years ago
I suppose his claim is based on some convoluted sense of purity.
Posted by gerrandesquire 6 years ago
What exactly does ruining a language mean? A language is a medium of expressing your thoughts and feelings, and that it accomplishes. The 'beauty' of the language is still prevalent, i mean, Shakespeare is still the greatest poet of all time, but if a specific set of people start using the language to their own convenience, that actually signifies the 'love' for the language.
Posted by J.Kenyon 6 years ago
"Are "sms" and "IMs" ruining the english language...."

Idk, lolz ^^
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by FREEDO 6 years ago
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Total points awarded:16