Why Texting “LOL” May Be Making You Smarter

Linguist John McWhorter defended the language of most teenage girls (and quick-typing adults) in his TED talk.

Teachers and parents alike bemoan texting as the fall of literacy, turning writing into an informal landscape that neglects the tenets of language. But during his TED talk, linguist John McWhorter introduced a more positive view of the language-changing phenomenon: Texting is actually a “linguistic miracle happening right under our noses.”

McWhorter argued that language is not necessarily the written word. “If humanity existed for 24 hours, writing only came around at 11:07 p.m.,” he said. So the rest of that time was taken up by the spoken word, the natural conversational tone that doesn’t always come through in writing.

Read more: Why Texting “LOL” May Be Making You Smarter | Fast Company.

And watch the TED Talk below: