Victorian poets used txtng lingo 130 yrs ago!

Updated: Aug 24, 2010, 15:06 PM IST

Washington: Those who think that texting lingo is ruining the English language, here’s a piece of information: the written language seen on mobile phone screen these days isn’t new at all.

The language arrived some 130 years ago, reports a news channel.

Victorian writers already used abbreviations typical of textspeak, according to a forthcoming exhibition at the British Library.

According to The Guardian, the London exhibit will display a poem printed in 1867 which features a number of acronyms and abbreviations -- the same used today when trying to overcome the standard 160-character limit of texting.

Called emblematic poetry, the Victorian writing style combined letters, numbers and logograms. An example is the "Essay to Miss Catharine Jay", or better, "An S A 2 Miss K T J."

Taken from Charles Carroll Bombaugh`s Gleanings From the Harvest-Fields of Literature, the poem on display at the British Library exhibit, is filled with proto-text-speak expressions, such as "I wrote 2U B4" or "he says he love U2."

According to linguistics expert David Crystal, indeed, the mobile phone language isn`t new at all.

"People have been initializing common phrases for ages... IOU [An abbreviation of the phrase "I owe you" ] is known from 1618," Crystal wrote in Txtng: The Gr8 Db8, (Texting: The Great Debate), a book on the SMS lingo.

Basically, there is no difference between a modern Twitter`s "RTHX ("Thank you for the Retweet") and a "SWALK" ("sealed with a loving kiss") from Second World War letters.

ANI

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