Does the increasing use of text messaging make things like opera surtitles seem more and more acceptable? Here's a piece in WIRED that implies it might be so.
I think that surtitles have changed the artform. They are making the audience want shows that make more sense, which is probably a good thing. I think they are, however, part of the reason why audiences are finding it increasingly difficult to suspend their disbelief about body types (large sopranos, short tenors etc.) . Certainly movies and television are the prime culprit, but perhaps sheer comprehension adds to it.