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Txtng: The Gr8 Db8 Paperback – 9 Jul 2009

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford (9 July 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199571333
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199571338
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 1.8 x 12.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 188,870 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

David Crystal works from his home in Holyhead, North Wales, as a writer, editor, lecturer, and broadcaster. He published the first of his 100 or so books in 1964, and became known chiefly for his research work in English language studies. He held a chair at the University of Reading for 10 years, and is now Honorary Professor of Linguistics at the University of Wales, Bangor.

Product Description

Review

Crystal's combination of enthusiasm and erudition is persuasive. I'm a convert. Txting is gr8! (Brandon Robshaw, The Independent On Sunday)

A jolly meditation, helped by the enthusiasm of a linguist revelling in newly coined lingo. (Tom Lamont, The Observer)

About the Author

David Crystal is honorary professor of linguistics at the University of Wales, Bangor. He has written or edited over 100 books and published numerous articles for scholarly, professional, and general readerships, in fields ranging from forensic linguistics and ELT to the liturgy and Shakespeare. His books include the Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language (2nd edn 1997), the Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language (2nd edn 2003), Words, Words, Words (OUP 2006), and The Fight for English (OUP 2006).

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Olly Buxton on 6 Feb. 2009
Format: Hardcover
How this for a bit of reflexivity: I'm composing the initial draft of this review on a mobile phone. Admittedly, a full qwerty keyboard-toting BlackBerry and not an old school mobile, so not with the numeric keypad limitations of the usual SMS utilising device but, still, typing-one thumbed while I cling on to a tube strap on an underground carriage with my other hand does put the debate into context.

This is an interesting enough, quick read, but it lets itself down in a couple of presentational respects and also in scope.

Firstly, the title and sale. Already on reviews on this site there is a debate between those who find the book a bit dry and dusty and those who point out it is written by a linguistics professor, so you shouldn't really expect anything else. I suppose composing its title in textspeak was an obvious (if somewhat unimaginative) marketing ploy, but the cheap laugh it gets trades badly against its implied presentation as a book of limited ambition and sophistication - one of those impulse buys at the counter that will wind up on the cistern in the loo, rather than a book you'd buy for its own sake.

As it happens, this is a thoughtful and insightful book written (for the layman - I didn't find it dry in the slightest) by an academic and published by Oxford University Press. But the way OUP has elected to market may cause it to fall betwixt cup and lip.

But - assuming we are meant to treat it as a substantive entry - that leads onto some substantive reservations.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Bojan Tunguz TOP 500 REVIEWER on 10 April 2011
Format: Hardcover
I am one of those people who never got into the whole texting craze, primarily because I hardly ever use my cell phone and I rarely chat with my friends online. Even when I do, I try to write in full sentences and be as clear in my prose as possible. However, I am not beyond ever condescending to the new texting abbreviations, and would occasionally pepper my chats with LOL, ROTFL, and of course ', nor would I begrudge my interlocutors when they do the same. So, I am not someone who gets too flustered with texting as such. It's texting that happens in inappropriate settings that really gets to me. I like to interact with people in various online forums, and when they write whole essays in txt-speak, and I find myself spending more time decoding what they wrote than on the content of their arguments, then I take an exception to this whole business of texting.

I am writing all this in order to give you my overall perspective on texting prior to reading this book. My attitude could be summed up as ambivalent to weary. So I decided to pick up this book and learn more about texting from a professional linguist, someone who has invested a great deal of time to study texting habits and put it in a perspective of language use and development in general. And for the most part, David Crystal does a wonderful job at that. The book is filled with nice and illuminating examples, the parallels to previous changes in our use of language were appropriate and thought provoking. The book does a great job in convincing me that there is really nothing either deviant or inappropriate about how texting came to be. And I was also convinced that people who txt are not ruining the English language nor are they hurting their own writing skills.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By D. Izod on 23 Jan. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The problem with teaching 'Language and Technology' at A level is that the technology and our interaction with it is changing so fast that there is virtually no established texts that are available for the general reader. Google Scholar is all very well, but it takes hours of searching to find only abstracts of academic papers. So, hats off to Crystal then, who has collated much of the research from the past ten years and synthesised it down into a very readable resource for enjoyable reading and also for giving us teachers something solid to base our lessons on rather than something published six or seven years ago that is now as redundant as a Betamax copy of Jaws.

Crystal is as usual authorative, engaging and here is certainly going out on a limb and offering a coherent and well argued case that texting is an interesting, positive influence on our beautiful language and provides heaps of evidence as to why John Humphrys et al are bleating old has beens who speak from a position of delicious ignorance.

Buy this for fun and buy it so you can shut people up when they start talking rubbish. Oh yes, and as a great teaching aid.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Cyril L. Caspar on 31 Dec. 2009
Format: Hardcover
David Crystal has once again put together one heck of a page-turner. His new book Txtng: The Gr8 Db8 touches upon nearly everything that has to do with texting. Some believe texting to be a threat to the English language. Here, Crystal pours oil on troubled waters as he argues that texting could even be advantageous the youth. He reasons that teenagers first have to understand language before they can start playing with it. He dwells on the peculiarities and the distinctiveness of texting, some reasons why people do it, and some thoughts on social groups. Moreover, he focuses on the content of text messages, and he also gives a brief overview on how texting works in other languages than English. While doing so, Crystal remains scientific as he draws his conclusions based on sheer facts, but he does go into too much linguistic detail.
In sum, Txtng: The Gr8 Db8 is an absolute must read for anyone who is interested in how the new media affects language.
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