In some cases it can take longer to read textese than regular English, but my guess is as fewer words are repeated more often this will reverse.
I’ve always been interested in etymologies and the evolution of words through changing cultures. I think I especially enjoyed learning early on that, as a living thing, language was user defined and rules that were taught in the classroom could be broken if desired (and if done repeatedly by enough people). In that sense it harbors the same attraction as graphic art. And similarly in that sense, snobs of both disciplines can be scoffed-at right back.
The mentioned study (statistical laws governing fluctuations in word use from word birth to word death), shows not only the whittling* of language** in the digital age but also how closely tied to cultural and technological development word correlations really are. It also shows how much quicker words are adopted through new media compared to older ones like print*** and, presumably, yelling.
Language obviously evolves in context, and adapts to specific needs. The above study doesn’t incorporate SMS-speak or other trends in online language but these are also areas where the changing pace of language and a new words struggle for popular usage can be seen. The crotcheties might not like the changes and additions that have occurred in the past 10-15 years, but we’ve seen in other studies that there are no real deleterious effects of things like textese on developing minds, and most of these styles remain in the venues they were created for (txt abbreviations stay in texts, hashtags stay on twitter etc.), allaying fears of a general language breakdown through abbreviations, logograms and emoticons.
I remember my first venture into abbreviated writing happenning shortly after I learned how to write. I was always attracted to the ampersand (&) and taught myself how to draw it properly to save time. I bet I also would have been interested in stenography had I caught wind of it as a child. Alas I was wholly unaware of such a thing until much later, and couldn’t see a use for it anymore.
This post was brought to you by the lolcat-bible! ‘cuz why not. I bet the bible makes more sense in lolcat anyway.
*it’s not all that bad, spellcheck also stops erroneous spellings and typos from entering the language as new forms of a word. Who needs that?
**English Spanish, and Hebrew were studied.
***That’s when words and images were transferred onto paper with ink, and then distributed manually. #Lolsavages.