Every morning when I walk my dog, I listen to a TEDTalk. This morning John McWhorter answered a question I have long been mulling over: why teenagers use "haha" in almost every text they send even when what they're texting isn't funny?
The answer has to do with the fact that texting is actually not writing per se, it's "fingered speech." And in spoken language people use "pragmatic particles" as markers of empathy or accommodation. The term haha has morphed into a subtle form of marking empathy. The same thing has happened with lol.
Texting, according to McWhorter, it's not killing our children's language. Instead, it's adding to it because texting is actually like a different language. Check out this fascinating linguistic perspective on texting!
Julie Richie is a mother and writer who was inspired to write by the book Beat the Turtle Drum by Constance C. Greene when she was eleven years old.