“Have you ripped your vest?”


“You’ve got a hole in the back of it.”

“I’ve got a hole in the back of my vest?”


When conversations are longer than they need to be, it always makes me giggle. Above is a genuine conversation between two people I shared a train with one day. I love listening to conversations that go around the houses- although I do admit that taking part in them can be really frustrating, especially when you are trying to get somewhere! But it makes me think- in everyday conversation we can all go around the houses before ending up at our destination.

But change that to text language, which is on the rise as the favoured prose of young people, and its a very different story. “missd U 2day, call l8r”. Short, sharp and straight to the point.

I wonder where language is in all this; and where it will be. In many ways, we are writing more than we ever did through the joys of Twitter, Facebook, texts, emails and even blogs like this one.

But what language are we using? Our language changes – it always has; that’s what makes it alive- and we all move with the times. Microsoft Word, for example, insists on correcting me for putting a ‘u’ in ‘colour’ and an ‘s’ in ‘prioritise’. And so Americanisms encroach on our English. But text language will soon take over too and we will find speed will become increasingly more important than flair.

We may even lose those beautiful silent letters so stolen from our Latin and French ancestors.

We may be writing more, which is great. But at what cost?


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