This article analyzes both a series of 2007-8 U.S. TV ads that humorously deploy the language of text messaging, and the subsequent debates about the linguistic status of texting. We explore the ambivalence of commercials that at once resonate with fears of messaging slang as a verbal contagion and luxuriate in the playful inversion of standard language hierarchies. The commercials were invoked by monologic mainstream media as evidence of language decay, but their circulation on YouTube invited dialogic metalinguistic discussions, young people and texting proponents sharing the floor with adults and language prescriptivists. We examine some of the themes that emerge in the commentary YouTubers have posted about these ads, and discuss the style of that commentary as itself significant.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Computer Science Applications
- Computer Networks and Communications