From “lol” to “brb,” the internet and text messaging gave rise to a unique form of short form language – “textspeak” – in which almost all of us are well-versed.
But long before the internet revolutionized communication, humans experienced a different sort of technological innovation: the telegraph.
In 1837, the first commercial telegraphs were released by Samuel Morse, William Fothergill Cooke and Charles Wheatstone, and this machine – as journalist Tom Standage argues in his book The Victorian Internet – mirrored the impact that the internet has had in modern times.
The result was an entirely new way to wield language – one that, in a number of ways, resembles today’s textspeak……
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