The new English “dialect”

originally posted January 18, 2007
reformatted with no revisions in May 2021

From today’s (January 18) Nashville Tennessean comes this article about a new English “dialect”—so new, in fact, that it still doesn’t have a proper, technical name. The author of the article, staff writer Jaime Sarrio, calls it “text speak” or “Web slanguage” or “teen texting”; I’ve heard it called “I-M-ing” (for “instant messaging”), too. Regardless, it’s use is without a doubt gaining in popularity. See what Sarrio has to say about it. And, while you’re close, jump over to “If Shakespeare had a cell phone” in which high school teacher Lindsey Martin tells some results of a class assignment that had her students translate four short quotes from the bard into . . . that . . . language! By the way, back on the main article page, be sure to look over the “Text Message Glossary” (furnished courtesy of, and start showing off on your own IMs. BCNU!

image information: The featured image at top was part of the the-freelance-editor home page from sometime in 2006 to about 2012; front page of The Tennessean, via