Lesson 5 “gr8” or great?

(Part 1)
Saki is a Japanese high school student who has just started to study in the US. Recently, she received the following e-mail. It says that her friends are going to have a welcome party for her. Take your time and read it carefully.
Hi Saki,
2night’s party starts b4 7pm.
PLS wear a cool dress!
BTW, I heard UR a GUD singer.
We want 2 listen 2 UR song.
Well, did you understand it? Do you know what Cathy wants Saki to do? You may think that many words in the message look like “secret codes.” However, these days, young people in English speaking countries are using these “special” forms of language in text messages, or texting. Do you think their new language is cool or creative?

(Part 2)
These “secret codes” in text messages are made mainly by shortening the original words. There are a few rules for doing so. The first rule is to use a single letter or a number to stand for a word. For example, “b” is used for “be,” “c” for “see,” and “2” for “to.” You see that “b” and “be” have the same pronunciation but different spellings. Letters and numbers are often used in combination, too. “b4” is used for “before,” and “gr8” for “great.” You can even find a sentence like “cul8r” for “See you later” in texting.
The second rule is to omit vowels in a word. For example, “please” becomes “pls,” “place” becomes “plc,” and “were” becomes “wr.” So, you may find a sentence like “It ws a gr8 plc” for “It was a great place” in a text message.
New words can also be formed by using the first letters of words in a phrase. For example, “BTW” is used for “by the way,” and “IMO” for “in my opinion.” “FYI” stands for “for your information” and “ASAP” for “as soon as possible.”
Now, by using these rules, can you guess what “txtng” and “2bctnd” mean? Yes, they mean “texting” and “to be continued” respectively. Then, how about “URgr8”?

(Part 3)
Why do young people use these special forms of language in texting? First, by shortening words, you can reduce the time it takes to write an e-mail. Shortening words also helps put more words on the small screen of your cellphone or smartphone.
Another reason is that you can create a sense of unity by using these “secret codes” in texting: Only close friends can easily understand the codes, and that gives a special bond among them.
The last reason may be that it is simply fun. Many people enjoy playing with language. For example, one person might make an abbreviation, and then, another person might have some fun by making the abbreviation longer.
BF (best friend)
BFF (best friends forever)
BFFL (best friends for life)
BFFLD (best friends for life and death)
Making these messages is fun, and reading them is a lot of fun, too. It is like solving “secret codes.” So, it is natural that young people are fascinated by these special forms of language.

(Part 4)
These new types of words in texting are beginning to influence daily English language use, too. For example, we sometimes hear young people say, “JK” for “Just kidding” in daily conversation. Also, instead of crying, “Oh my God!” they may shout, “OMG!” The following passage from a newspaper article is another good example. A 13-year-old girl in the UK wrote an essay on her summer holidays and handed it to her teacher. Her teacher, however, was puzzled by the essay. It reads:
My smmr holidays wr CWOT.
We went 2 NY 2c my bro, his GF & thr 3 dogs FTF.
IL NY, it’s a gr8 plc…
Can you read it?
We hear some adults complaining of these special forms of language. They think that they may have a bad effect on their children’s education. However, others think that they are no problem at all because language is a living thing and changing all the time. Well, it may be difficult to decide which stance we should take, but what do you think?




Lesson 5 gr8それともgreat?

(Part 1)



(Part 2)
テキストメッセージの中のこういった「秘密の暗号」は,主に元の単語を短くすることで作られます。そうするためのルールが少しあります。1つ目のルールは,単語を表す1つの文字や数字を用いることです。たとえば,“be”の代わりに“b”が,“see”の代わりに“c”が,“to”の代わりに“2”が用いられます。“b”と“be”は同じ発音ですが,つづりが違うことがわかりますね。文字と数字はまた,よく組み合わせて用いられます。“before”の代わりに“b4”が,“great”の代わりに“gr8”が用いられます。文字通信の中で,“See you later”を表す“cul8r”のような文を見かけることさえあります。
2つ目のルールは,単語の中の母音を省略することです。たとえば,“please”は“pls”に,“place”は“plc”に,“were”は“wr”になります。それゆえ,テキストメッセージの中で“It was a great place”を表す“It ws gr8 plc”のような文を見かけるかもしれません。
新しい単語は,句の中の単語の最初の文字を用いて作られることもあります。たとえば,“by the way”の代わりに“BTW”が用いられ,“in my opinion”の代わりに“IMO”が用いられます。“FYI”は“for your information”を表し,“ASAP”は“as soon as possible”を表します。
さて,これらの規則を用いて,“txtng”と“2bctnd”の意味を推測できますか?そうです,それらはそれぞれ“texting”と“to be continued”を意味します。それでは,“URgr8”はどうでしょうか。

(Part 3)

(Part 4)
文字通信の中のこういった新しい種類の言葉は,日常的な英語の使用にも影響を及ぼし始めています。たとえば,日常会話で,若者たちが“Just kidding”の代わりに“JK”と言うのを私たちはときどき耳にします。また,“Oh my God!”と叫ぶ代わりに,彼らは“OMG!”と叫ぶかもしれません。新聞記事の次の一節はもう1つのよい例です。イギリスの13歳の少女が夏休みについての作文を書き,先生に手渡しました。しかし先生は,その作文に困惑しました。それは次のように書かれています。