Books : reviews

David Crystal, Derek Davy.
Investigating English Style.
Longman. 1969

David Crystal.
Pelican. 1971

David Crystal.
The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language.
CUP. 1987

(read but not reviewed)

David Crystal.
A Dictionary of Linguistics and Phonetics: 2nd edn.
Blackwell. 1988

David Crystal.
The Cambridge Encyclopedia.
CUP. 1990

David Crystal.
Txtng: the gr8 db8.
OUP. 2008

rating : 4 : passes the time
review : 14 January 2013

Crystal gives a whistle-stop overview of the texting phenomenon, doing the usual linguistic thing of saying, no, really, this new phenomenon isn't destroying language/literacy/life as we know it. It turns out that, rather than an entire generation growing up without vowels, in fact only a minority of texters use "text speak", and then only in texts, and not in their homework or academic essays.

He gives some historical background, and also some interesting examples of the same kind of "punning" (or possibly gr8ing) text speak occuring in other languages. Part of the problem is getting hold of a big enough corpus of data to do proper analysis; strangely people don't want to turn over their text records to academics!

Despite only being 5 years old, this is already somewhat outdated, as it is pre smart-phone, assuming the texting is done with a numeric keypad. However, it's a quick, light read, with some interesting observations.

David Crystal.
Begat: the King James Bible and the English language.
OUP. 2010