NPR Library

Txt Msg Creep?

This week, I'm sure Swine Flu (or H1N1 virus) has been a major topic for many libraries. We've been collecting information, links and all kinds of resources, and posting them on NPR's internal News Wiki (sorry, we can't point you to it!) to support the incredible work of the Science, National and Foreign Desks, as well as NPR show hosts and the reporters from our member stations.

One particular item caught the librarian's eye, and I guess we should give our colleague Linton Weeks honorary librarian status. Yesterday, his NPR.org column on the influenza epidemic included some lexicographical information:

Is H1N1, or some derivative, a sign of Internetese or "txt msg creep"? Michael Agnes, editor in chief of Webster's New World dictionaries, says not. He says such alphanumerical designations are frequently used within the scientific community. And nothing but "swine flu" has gained traction so far among the general public...

The English language has always been amazingly absorbent, able to soak up words and phrases from all over the planet. So we shouldn't be surprised at the inrush of codes and abbreviations from the scientific and digital world...

Hey, Linton. We're happy to share our "language police" function with you!

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