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Classics suffer death by SMS

2b? Nt2b? ???

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This has got a sort of horrible inevitability about it: student mobile service dot.mobile has compressed some of the great works of literature into a few lines of SMS so that time-strapped students can revised Hamlet, for example, without the inconvenience of having to carry a book around with them.

According to the Beeb, Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet therefore becomes:

FeudTween 2hses- Montague&Capulet. RomeoMfalls_<3w/_JulietC@mary Secretly Bt R kils J's Coz &&is banishd. J fakes Death. As Part of Plan2b-w/R Bt_leter Bt It Nvr Reachs Him. Evry1confuzd-bothLuvrs kil Emselves

Project supporter Professor John Sutherland of University College London, enthused: "Take for example the ending to Jane Eyre - 'MadwyfSetsFyr2Haus'. Was ever a climax better compressed?"

God preserve us. What, we ask, would Chaz Dickens have made of it? The good prof offers: "Whilst some may argue that Dickens is really too big a morsel to be swallowed by text, the Great Inimitable himself began working life as a short hand writer. He would, I suspect have approved of the brevity if nothing else."

Well, we suspect that Dickens would, dear reader, have choked on his beef and oyster pie of olde England and dragged the perpetrators of this outrage to Finsbury Park Fields to demand satisfaction with either the sword or the pistol.

As Emily Bronte once put it: "Wtf?" ®

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