Peter Hyman, author of The Reluctant Metrosexual: Dispatches from an Almost Hip Life, wrote in the January 26, 2009 issue of Publishers Weekly (“Soapbox”) a query letter to a literary agent describing his decision to stop work on his Great American Novel and begin work on “the Gr8 American Txt Msg.” He argues that the time is right for this “TGATM” because “TGATM” is “free of meaningful contexts, broad cultural truths or well-defined characters…” among other things. To give the agent a feel for what he means, Hyman converts some famous novels to txt msg. My personal favorite: “Dvl Wers Prda — F U Miranda!.” His full article is here.
Thank you, Peter Hyman, for writing this article! It illustrates tongue-in-cheek my fear of the erosion of the English language by text messaging. How to shorten the manuscript of a novel? Write it in text message language. I certainly would not want to be the copyeditor of that book….
I wonder: how many people would read a book written in text message language?