Spring 2012 | By THiNK Staff
|Graduate students Marc Dziak (at left) and Daniel Nedelescu access the resources available at Purdue's Online Writing Lab. Photo by Andrew Hancock|
In regard to Linda Bergmann's refreshing comments of a new English in cyberworld, in your 2011 spring issue:
Without doubt, cyberchat in texting is creating a new "sublanguage" that is just one more step in the evolvement of English into ... what?
Our linguistic abilities must adapt to the increasing number of English words —now nearly 2 million. Our language needs more brevity, and we now have the technology that both requires it and helps us to create it. We need brief words, brief sentences, and brief texts to stay apace of this "new world" and to prepare for demands 10, 20, 50 years down the road.
Rather than being destructive, the new environment is productive, and English grows in the evolution. Professor Bergmann wisely recognizes texting as a creative endeavor.
Cyberchat will not obliterate the genius of man; rather it will help that genius continue to explore new roads with English as its guide. The language will become more abbreviated, more concise. The move to tighten English communications is essential in this new world.
So what's wrong with saying TU (thank you) in cyberchat, or AARO (as a result of)? We find p.o.b. (post office box) in Webster's 1934 unabridged dictionary; we also find a.l.s. (autograph letter signed) and I.O.U. ($), but not UFO. Brevity arrives in response to a need. Young people now texting may be laying the groundwork for a new sublanguage of English to better accommodate the new world that we can now only imagine.
Let us hope that the Pew Research Center, the Nation's Report Card on Writing, and similar organizations dismiss cyberchat as a reason for young people's inabilities in English. Criticism of cyberchat is misdirected because texting will not damage careers. To the contrary, it may benefit them, and most likely it will.
BA 1962, English and Creative Writing
As a proud CLA alumna, I am always eager to read THiNK and find out about the influential changes CLA students and faculty are making on a global scale. It is also exciting to read about professors that I have known personally and see what new projects they are working on.
After reading about the Indigenous and Endangered Languages Lab (IELLab) in the Spring 2011 issue, I realize how important it is (especially as a bilingual person) to study the influence English has on other languages, as I have certainly noticed the influence in my own native language.
I have traveled to many places, seen many different schools, and talked to people from various backgrounds. They are always impressed by my knowledge in cultural diversity, which I always attribute to Purdue. Nowhere else have I seen a university that is as committed to cultural diversity, embraces differences, and sees every subject matter as important. It continues to amaze me.
Melissa Kumari Ochoa
BA 2009, Public Relations & Rhetorical Advocacy
BA 2009, Psychology
It is so nice to see Brian (Lamb) honored at Purdue. I guess we should have all known he would go on to bigger and better things and indeed he has. He was our class president and also a frequent visitor at the Chi Omega house back in college days, and that is how I will most remember him.
Mimi Rotunno Ferrar
BA 1963, Languages
Editor's note: Purdue announced last spring that its communication program would be renamed the Brian Lamb School of Communication. To celebrate the naming, Lamb was on campus in September 2011 to interview Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels for the C-SPAN program Q&A. Daniels talked about his new book, Keeping the Republic: Saving America by Trusting Americans; state and national politics; and his decision not to run for president in the 2012 election. Daniels also fielded questions from Purdue students. A story and photo gallery related to the event are featured here.