clément gallet: “ritn eng iz ded”.

My life changed the day I discovered texting. A quick, silent, efficient, easy way to get my point across without the hassle of actually having to speak to them. Bliss.

It’s a little weird to think about just how quickly texting, Facebook, Twitter and all those new communication methods have taken over our lives. I rarely talk on the telephone, and now I actually avoid it. Anyone who knows me texts me, because I simply don’t answer the phone. Leave me a message if you like, but unless there is an emergency I will text back. And if I text you and you call me back, that’s equivalent to sacrilege.

Personally, I only got Facebook a little over a year ago. Now I wouldn’t get invited to anything or talk to anyone living beyond a 10-kilometre radius of my house without the damn thing. I’m not big on the “c u l8rs” and kitschy little text-speaks of the world, and though I don’t believe we’re going to be writing text novels any time soon, it’s clear that our methods of connecting to one another are shifting very dramatically and that it’s a ripe subject for artists and designers to investigate.

Swiss graphic design and new media student Clément Gallet lays it all out it his new communication manifesto “ritN eng iz ded”. In it, he posits that the speed of communication is moving too fast for our traditional written word system, and he gives suggestions on how to streamline language to work better with our new communication methods: texting, Facebook wall posts, and Twitter.

Besides the obviously hot layout, I really love the slight irony that instructions on how to communicate more effectively electronically have been documents in such an appealing old-skool paper book. My favourite instruction of all is right here:

personally, i believe that ditching the capitals will be the next stage in the evolution of english. sure, people will freak out at first, but english used to be “ye olde english”, too. things change, and this will be next. for proof, look at how many people write facebook messages, emails, and texts all in lowercase. it doesn’t affect the clarity of the messsage and in lots of modern layout styles it simply looks better. did you even notice that there wasn’t a single capital letter in this whole paragraph?

Gallet has that whole hot minimalist thing going on, but I find that rather than just following a trend he’s constructing his own minimalism – basing it not on trends but on investigating and then re-creating. Just like “ritN eng iz ded” grew out of the new communication methods, he also created a “afterwork”, a font inspired by neon signage and the restrictions placed on the tubing in order to make them glow properly.


  1. liam finley says:

    i think it’s a good idea.
    sentences robbed of their capitals feel apathetic, which matches perfectly with the apathy prevalent in wired society. a writer shouldn’t adhere to the new for the sake of newness any more than they adhere to the old for the sake of oldness. capitals are for those who care too much about their sentences, and the person reading them.
    they’re also great for removing the uniqueness from a subject. a secret service agent no longer works for the secret service–he just serves, secretly.
    big brother is nothing more than a brother, older than yourself. whether or not he’s watching you.

  2. sedgehammer says:

    Text novels, you say? What about the Japanese cell phone novel? I think we are well on our way towards new, shortened forms of expression. Look at what email has done in the business world, especially in regards to informality. I agree that the change does not necessarily spell the end of certain art forms or forms of communication – the existing forms will, however, need to adapt.

  3. EnglishGirl says:

    Text speak is great, although I don’t agree with it, making for lazy slobs who don’t know when required how to write correctly… take another look at the book cover, is the full stop necessary in textspeakland, I don’t think so, shame about the typo!

  4. hear hear! i have not been using capitals for years now (probably inspired from ee cummings way back in my hs days) although, have used them for essays in class. its required 🙂

    free will? no caps at all.

    besides, the lower letters have more character than the caps. its visually delicious

  5. Yeah, I did notice actually. If you take out capital letters then you’ll begin to take out apostrophe’s, commas, etc. I don’t think it’ll ever happen. At least, not in our life time which is basically the same as saying it’ll never happen because even if it does, which I doubt, how would we know?

  6. As Wittgenstein pointed out, we all play language games – every human sphere of interest and occupation has its own lexicon which those involved understand and use. Clearly, Gallet is happy to communicate in the written equivalent of grunting, which may suit him and those with whom he deals. However, for those with more subtle and advanced needs, the breathtaking beauty and complexity of civilised langauage remains both desirable and necessary. It’s horses for courses, really.

    Also, he doesn’t understand the difference betwen ‘less’ and ‘fewer’ – but he wouldn’t consider it to be important even if he did, presumably.

  7. I looked at the title and it took me longer to figure out what was written than it would have taken if he had written it in standard English.

    There are many strategies that readers use to identify words. Context is one. Word shape is another. This proposal causes the shapes of known words to change, which, I would imagine, would actually result in worse comprehension, especially in a business environment where documents are written to be scanned for the information the reader wants, not read in their entirety.

  8. You’ll notice he’s not proposing we fuck up any of the official languages of Switzerland in the same way.

  9. I don’t agree with this. Just like any medium, such as black and white photography or oil painting, things such as the written english novel will still exist.

    I think that this book is cleverly done, but the point of it is already too clear. The book is stating that there must be a quicker more concise way of speaking an idea, but this is already happening with text messages, facebook wall posts, and twitter notifications.

    The telephone was the first object or norm of society whose transformation helped bring in a different way of speaking with the creation of the cellular phone. It allowed one to call someone anywhere, thus ridding the need of having to cover a lot more information while only being able to use a phone at home, where it was wired to the telecommunication system. Then, text messages, like you said at the beginning, gets rid of phonetically communicating altogether, instead leaving the communication to short and quick written texts.

    Yes, there is change to communication, but it’s already here and known about. It is facebook, and it is text messaging.

    Black and white photography still exists, oil paintings still exist. Written word will still exist, albeit with new mediums in which to communicate.

  10. Where can you buy this?


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