Stephen Fry on text talk.

03Jan11

“Some of the extremes of ‘LOL’ talk are a little bit bizarre to the non-initiated, but that’s true of anything. If you look at the 18th century or 19th century letters written by Swift, Johnston, or by Byron, you will notice they speak in text-talk. Paper was very expensive, the posting of paper was immensely expensive. ( … ) So people wrote ‘yr’ for ‘your’ and they compressed every word they possibly could. They wrote, what we call today: a text language. But they were Byron, Wordsworth and Jane Austen, and no one would dare to say: oh what scum, what vulgar idiots they are. Because the young happen to do that now, the ignorant who haven’t taught it through, and who rejoice in their apparent superiority seems to think it’s something wrong with that.”

Stephen Fry on iTunes podcast “Meet the Author”, 9.2.2009



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