It's been happening for a whilllee, texters lengthening their verbage, and linguists are here to analyze. Using nearly 4 million words from students' digital-communications data, a linguist at the University of Toronto has discovered this word elongating practice is a trend most common among female twenty-somethings (though it extends to different ages and across both genders as well). Vowels are the most frequently duplicated letters, and often words are only elongated by two or three letters at a time.
Major Garrett, CBS News' chief White House correspondent, sure is mad at someone! This tweet flickered briefly across our screens this morning before Garrett noticed and deleted it; it was likely intended as a DM for some unfortunate soul—another reporter? A source? National Journal's Jim O'Sullivan, who tweeted this directly before Garrett flew off the handle:
Lexicographer and editor Grant Barrett rips the Wall Street Journal a new one over their horriful trend/scare story today on the devolution of Americanlish and the rise of chat-speak and how the kids are destroying all things and whatevs. The story includes this choice bit: "'There used to be a time when people cared about how they spoke and wrote,' laments Robert Hartwell Fiske, who has written or edited several books on proper English usage, including one on overused words titled 'The Dimwit's Dictionary.'" Oh was there, ya slaggy old bit popper?