Crystal clear

I had the pleasure of seeing Professor David Crystal giving the opening plenary at ACEIA (www.aceia.es) training day last Saturday. Wonderful as always, he was talking about language in the Internet age and dispelling some myths in the process. One example he used was illustrative: it’s often presumed that abbreviations used in SMS and emails are “damaging” our spelling in some ways but as he points out, you can only effectively use abbreviations if you CAN spell correctly. One of his main points is that new technologies mean we are reading and writing more than ever and this has a positive effect on literacy. To finish he encouraged the study of the language used in these new technologies pointing out how enormous and fascinating the whole area is and will be, particularly when, in the near future, more and more audio will become the norm.

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