All the handwringing by 7th-grade English teachers and parents over the tens of millions of grammatically challenged texts sent every day misses the point of what texting is, says John McWhorter, a linguistics professor at Columbia University. “Texting isn’t written language,” McWhorter told the audience at TED2013. “It much more closely resembles the kind of language we’ve had for so many more years: spoken language.”
Speech is the way we humans have communicated for about 150,000 years. Writing, while a useful artifice, is a relatively new invention. “If humanity has existed for 24 hours, writing came about at 11:07 p.m.,” McWhorter says.