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Study Sez Txt Msgs Make Kidz Gr8 Spellrz

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the adversity-breeds-strength dept.

Education 375

Picknz writes "The Telegraph reports that researchers have found texting can improve literacy among pupils by giving them extra exposure to word composition outside the school day. According to the report, the association between spelling and text messaging may be explained by the 'highly phonetic nature' of the abbreviations used by children and the alphabetic awareness required for successfully decoding the words. 'It is also possible that textism use adds value because of the indirect way in which mobile phone use may be increasing children's exposure to print outside of school,' says the report. 'We are now starting to see consistent evidence that children's use of text message abbreviations has a positive impact on their spelling skills,' adds Professor Claire Wood. 'There is no evidence that children's language play when using mobile phones is damaging literacy development.'"

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Writing (4, Interesting)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964406)

I work on several writing projects involving technology. A really fascinating study showed that when you ask most kids if they write for fun, most of them will say no. If you then ask them how many text / email / IM / blog / etc., nearly everyone will answer in the affirmative. Teens don't see these kinds of things as "writing". Once you sort of get through to them that it is, it's like a lightbulb turns on in their heads, and they suddenly start getting engaged in English.

In other words, while it's really easy to mock texting (tweets especially annoy me), I think that if modern teachers learn to take advantage of all the writing teens are actually doing, we could see a revolution in English skills.

Re:Writing (4, Interesting)

bbqsrc (1441981) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964420)

It's certainly an under-appreciated art being able to fit a concise, well-developed argument into 140 characters, including a link and a bunch of tags.

Re:Writing (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34964446)

It's certainly an under-appreciated art being able to fit a concise, well-developed argument into 140 characters, including a link and a bunch of tags.

That's what she said.

Re:Writing (5, Funny)

Kral_Blbec (1201285) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964612)

It's certainly an under-appreciated art being able to fit a concise, well-developed argument into 140 characters, including a link and a bun

What do delicious baked goods have to do with anything?

Re:Writing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34964874)

my kingdom for mod points...

(posting anon to avoid -1 redundant mods)

Re:Writing (2)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964488)

I think tweets can help people learn to be more concise in their writing, but the benefits are greater if they don't use the usual 'texting' abbreviations. It's a great mental excercise to see if you can get the same thought across in fewer words or characters, or just more clearly

Based on the number of mistakes with "then/than", "lose/loose", etc, I see from younger journalists and bloggers, I think spelling in general is getting worse, not better. I find it somewhat jarring when I actually see "lose" used properly.

Re:Writing (1)

digitig (1056110) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964518)

I'm not convinced it's getting worse, actually. It's just that we're now seeing a lot of stuff written by people who wouldn't have written anything before, or if they did we wouldn't have seen it. Writing with misspellings and homophone substitution is an improvement in literacy compared to not writing at all.

Re:Writing (1)

Sique (173459) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964556)

That's one of the wonderful results of all those Instant-On-services.

Never in history have so many people written so much and read that many lines of text on a regular base. Which is a good sign.

Re:Writing (5, Insightful)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964546)

Based on the number of mistakes with "then/than", "lose/loose", etc, I see from younger journalists and bloggers, I think spelling in general is getting worse, not better.

Way worse! Especially the last decade, many people don't even know that "then" and "than" are different words, that "ironic" doesn't mean "odd or coincidental", and how about expressions like "for all intensive purposes"? And don't get me started on "orientate"...

TFA is nonsense, written by an uneducated fool.

Re:Writing (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34964596)

What is the most ironic is when someone who criticize others for not knowing what ironic means, is not aware himself that ironic has several definitions. For example, Alanis Morissette used the word ironic correctly.

Re:Writing (5, Funny)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964672)

It's a doggy dog world...

Re:Writing (0)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964742)

"TFA is nonsense, written by an uneducated fool."

I can only assume that people who can't see past common spelling/grammar mistakes must have comprehension skills similar to those found in a compiler.

Re:Writing (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964910)

"TFA is nonsense, written by an uneducated fool." I can only assume that people who can't see past common spelling/grammar mistakes must have comprehension skills similar to those found in a compiler.

It's fine to extend yourself into editor mode for people who are new to the language, but what a joy it is to trade ideas with people and not have glaring errors break the flow of thought or worse, entirely confuse it.

Re:Writing (1)

6Yankee (597075) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964788)

And "in the first instance" does not mean "first", damn it.

Re:Writing (0, Troll)

Worthless_Comments (987427) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964812)

I think you mean "for all intents and purposes". You probably don't understand things because you don't even know what it is you're not understanding.

Re:Writing (2)

uneasyrider-taicho (1975794) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964836)

I think you mean "for all intents and purposes". You probably don't understand things because you don't even know what it is you're not understanding.

I know subtle nuances get lost online. I truly hope this is one of those cases.

Re:Writing (1)

rdwulfe (890032) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964906)

He's pointing out how people misuse the phrase. I've seen people write out "for all intensive purposes" when people mean "for all intents and purposes". It's what happens when folks hear something, don't quite comprehend it, then decide they've got to use it, too.

Re:Writing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34964918)

The funny thing is that the phrase is actually "to all intents and purposes."

Re:Writing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34964992)

And one time I wrote 'for all intensive purposes' and meant exactly that, the solution was for intense purposes...

Re:Writing (2)

Nocuous (1567933) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964900)

Whoosh!

The GP referred to "for all intensive purposes" because he sees that phrase, and HE knows the writer means "for all intents and purposes", but the writer does not.

You failed to think even for a moment about what the GP said, so you jumped to an erroneous conclusion. I believe that kind of shallow thinking drives most of the poorly written online communication.

I avoid grandiloquent phrasing whenever possible, because it doesn't add any value, and phrases like "for all intents and purposes" are usually worthless filler. If you use a phrase or word you don't understand, can't spell or construct correctly, you end up giving the impression to your audience that you're little dumber than is the case.

Re:Writing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34965052)

And don't get me started on "orientate"...

"Orientate" drives me crazy, too. Unfortunately, it's in the dictionary with origins in the 1800s...

Re:Writing (1)

Thrasher308 (863001) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964818)

"I always put my panties in my pocket so I don't lose them", she said.

Re:Writing (4, Funny)

lxs (131946) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964798)

If you then ask them how many text / email / IM / blog / etc., nearly everyone will answer in the affirmative

-Billy, how many texts do you send each day?

-Absolutely!

I am glad to be a (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34964410)

grammar Nazi.

Re:I am glad to be a (1)

nyctopterus (717502) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964418)

Sentence fragment!

Re:I am glad to be a (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964468)

It is grammar Nazis and spelling Nazis that really turn people off on English and writting.

You argument must be flawed because it has spelling mistakes or some of the grammar is off. Type of thinking has put many smart people into avoiding academic methodology in their lives. As they are just a bunch of closed minded dipwads.

Re:I am glad to be a (1)

tm2b (42473) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964492)

I won't be a grammar Nazi until they give me a Luftwaffe.

Re:I am glad to be a (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34964564)

It is grammar Nazis and spelling Nazis that really turn people off on English and writting.

You argument must be flawed because it has spelling mistakes or some of the grammar is off. Type of thinking has put many smart people into avoiding academic methodology in their lives. As they are just a bunch of closed minded dipwads.

writting? What exactly is a "type of thinking".

Please, try to learn how to write your language before criticizing. There are those who actually want people to understand what they are trying to convey, instead of pushing fragmented thoughts of some asswad like yourself.

Re:I am glad to be a (1)

Kneo24 (688412) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964616)

I don't grammar Nazi far too often anymore. The only time when I do is when I am having an absolutely difficult time trying to decipher the gibberish that someone had written. Poo poo on "grammar Nazi's" all you want, but they do sometimes have a valid reason. Wouldn't it be better if people could actually convey their messages in a fashion that people can actually read?

On the other hand nit-picking about every little infraction is downright annoying. Minor punctuation and spelling mistakes here or there should not be a huge deal.

Re:I am glad to be a (2)

Nocuous (1567933) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964782)

Type of thinking has put many smart people into avoiding academic methodology in their lives. As they are just a bunch of closed minded dipwads.

The first sentence above is flawed, and made me read it twice before I understood what you meant, because you left off "This" at the beginning of the sentence. That only took a fraction of a second, but it was still jarring. The awkward phrasing of the second sentence above, and the use of an ad hominem, non-descriptive slang pejorative gives the impression that either you are not well educated, or didn't care enough about what you were writing to use common grammar and descriptive words.

In this case, it's not hard to understand what you were trying to say, but I estimate 50% of communication I see online contains significant grammar and spelling mistakes, and around 10% is so poorly written that meaning is actually lost.

Because this is Slashdot, here's my car analogy; we need everyone to stop at stop signs, every time. Even though hardly any of the "rolling stops" will result in an accident, some will, and as more people ignore the law, their careless driving will cause more accidents.

It's also true that poor spelling and grammar make you seem dumber than you are, and yes, your views will not be taken as seriously. As long as the majority of educated people react this way, you will suffer mild discrimination for it. I think that's good.

Re:I am glad to be a (1)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964472)

Not if you read the subject line as part of his/her complete sentence.

Re:I am glad to be a (1)

Kneo24 (688412) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964636)

Or maybe they're just saying they're glad to be a sentence fragment!

Eye agri wit tee art-tickle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34964426)

Eye agri wit tee art-tickle
txtin maid mi an eksellent spellir

I call horseshit (4, Interesting)

echucker (570962) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964430)

Phonetics can also make horrible spellers. Our school had a phonetics program called ITA (a US variation on the UK ITA system [wikipedia.org] )when I was in grade school. It made pretty good readers out of kids, but crappy spellers, because they got used to the conventions of the phonetics program, and not actual grammar / spelling rules. Years after getting out of the system, I still saw high school seniors in honors programs who couldn't spell worth a damn.

Re:I call horseshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34964508)

Even without using the phonetics concept, I have a terrible time with spelling. Even simple and relatively common words cause problems. I am 40 and I've been a very successful in different fields. An electronics technician, a nuclear reactor operator, and more recently in IT where I've worked my up to a senior network engineer at a top 10 law firm. A lot of people assume spelling and grammar are key indicators of overall intelligence but there has to be some explanation as to why some people have such a hard time with it. For me, things like science, math, programming, and complex processes are a breeze to comprehend and learn, spelling and history are very hard.

Re:I call horseshit (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34964562)

It sounds more like you're mildly retarded, and people give you fake power and bullshit promotions just to make you feel better about yourself, but eventually they tire of you and your antics, and they proceed to fire you. Then you're off to "become successful" in a "different field".

Re:I call horseshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34965054)

I have never been fired or let go. I move on because I get bored. Our family maintains almost no debt and we live well within our income so my wife and I can both afford to quit and start over in something else with little impact on our short term finances. She worked in retail, then a chip fab, moved on to a travel agent and now she in an insurance agent. For me, nuclear power and associated nuclear and radiological work (either plant operation, plant maintenance, or the radiological controls) is all shift work and the work force is nomadic. There is a lot of moving around the country on per diem and either operating or performing maintenance depending on what plants are operating and when. I did not want to do that any more. There are radiological control jobs that are not directly related to nuclear power plants and they are not shift work but that was boring as well. I have some friends that work and the NRC and I gave that some thought as well but I had in interest in "computers" and I went that route instead. I started working at ISP's and moved on to larger and larger companies. The pay sucked until maybe 5 years ago and now just over 10 years later, I am losing my interest in that as well. My next job will be something outside busting my ass doing manual labor or maybe working at Wal-Mart as a door greeter and I'll fill my time with hobbies. If you don't want to compete with the Jones, you have some flexibility and you can do what you want to do. None of that really matters though. The point is I have a hard time with spelling and grammar but not other disciplines.

Re:I call horseshit (1)

Tridus (79566) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964524)

I was in a school that was taught word recognition and completely ignored phonetics. While that made for decent spelling, it also caused most of the students to be completely incapable of pronouncing any word they hadn't heard someone else say.

I'm STILL trying to get past the damage that caused.

Re:I call horseshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34964710)

I'm still trying to get over the fact that I was taught to spell by "Sound it out, and spell it like you think."

You would think if the student asks how something should be spelled when writing, that the teacher would tell the student... but ooohhh no.

Re:I call horseshit (1)

digitig (1056110) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964532)

Actually they can spell just fine, just not the variety of English that we use. This is how language evolves.

Re:I call horseshit (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964686)

> This is how language evolves.

Or devolves.

Re:I call horseshit (2)

M8e (1008767) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964850)

> This is how language evolves.

Or devolves.

Or maybe just volves.

Re:I call horseshit (1)

myoparo (933550) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964866)

Language does not devolve, but that's a topic for a different time.

What we are talking about is the English writing system, which does not accurately represent the sounds of the English language. This is why spelling errors are so prevalent in English but NOT other languages. This is why the spelling bee is mainly an English-language-only competition. This is also why a person writing phonetically in English is perceived as unintelligent, even if his written representation of the language is more accurate.

In English writing, stilted and archaic spellings are preferred even if the spelling has almost nothing to do with the word's actual sound.

Re:I call horseshit (1)

MatthewCCNA (1405885) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964580)

This is a definite limitation of phonics biased reading for some people, I learned to read with phonics and my spelling is terrible. When I was in grade 8 I received a standardized test that was designed to determine the spelling and reading comprehension acres the province. I scored 98% in reading comprehension which was rated at a university level and 2% on the spelling section which was rated as grade a grade 4 level. My spellcheck has suggested corrections for 9 words in this post.

Re:I call horseshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34964630)

"Acres" sounds nothing like "across". "E" never sounds like "o". Words like, "are" and "our" sound much closer to each other than "acres" and "across". Are you sure you just aren't taking the necessary time to proof-read?

Re:I call horseshit (0)

Kilrah_il (1692978) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964914)

I actually had to read the parent post twice to find the "acres". :) Evidently reading may not always help.

Re:I call horseshit (2)

multipartmixed (163409) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964860)

You need to read more.

Reading is key to spelling. Read, read, read, read. Read 6 or 7 books a week. Reading Slashdot doesn't count.

That is the very best way to become a good speller.

Re:I call horseshit (2)

myoparo (933550) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964776)

Don't be so quick to blame people that make spelling errors. The spelling system we currently use for English is the problem because it is poorly suited for representing the sounds of our language. In most of the world's languages, the spelling of a word can almost always be correctly derived from the sound alone and vice versa. These languages have a writing system in which the spoken language can be represented accurately. It is easy to forget that spoken language is the base for writing and not the other way around. It is quite possible for an illiterate person to be as articulate as his educated counterparts, despite his not being able to spell anything at all.

Back to what I was saying-- our system of writing in English is inconsistent, flawed and outdated as it does not represent the sounds of our language well. This is why the "Spelling Bee" is nearly exclusive to the English language and very rare to find for other languages.

We are very used to spelling words with little regard to how the words actually sound. Here are just a few examples of (widely tolerated) inconsistencies in English spelling:

laughter, manslaughter, man's laughter: all 3 should logically have a similar sound but do not
where, wear, ware, hair: these should have a different vowel sound but they generally don't.
two, to, too: again, based on spelling these should sound different
pain, lane, feign: again, same sound different spelling

A few spelling inconsistencies seems minor until you think about how important the spell checker is today and how obsessed we are as a whole with spelling. Expressing our thoughts clearly is more important than memorizing artificial and inaccurate representations of our language. If it weren't for our archaic spelling system, we'd be able to focus more on that.

Re:I call horseshit (1)

Kilrah_il (1692978) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964948)

In most of the world's languages, the spelling of a word can almost always be correctly derived from the sound alone and vice versa.

???
Are you talking about French? I am sure there are other examples as well. I am a Hebrew speaker and I can tell you there is the same problem in Hebrew, as well, even if to a somewhat lesser degree. The thing is, that languages evolve (or whatever you want to call it) over time. That means that two letter (or letter combinations) that once sounded differently now sound the same. In Hebrew you have Tet [wikipedia.org] and Taf [wikipedia.org] which both sound nowadays like T, but originally the former was a T and the latter a Th.
Once those letters sound the same, spelling mistakes ensue.

Re:I call horseshit (1)

myoparo (933550) | more than 3 years ago | (#34965040)

Emphasis on the "most" in most of the world's languages. Besides English, French is also notorious for not being phonetic.

Sounds in all languages change over time, but luckily those sound changes are very regular and the spellings of words, even if unchanged over time, remain fairly accurate even if not always perfect. I think Spanish might be a good example of this. English's writing system is worse than most when it comes phonetic accuracy.

Hebrew I am not too familiar with, but if I know my history right it was essentially brought back as a spoken language after thousands of years of not being spoken. That is a very rare accomplishment (Hebrew is the only one) and that makes is very unique amongst today's languages!

Re:I call horseshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34964780)

Phonetics can also make horrible spellers. It made pretty good readers out of kids, but crappy spellers, because they got used to the conventions of the phonetics program, and not actual grammar / spelling rules. Years after getting out of the system, I still saw high school seniors in honors programs who couldn't spell worth a damn.

So these "pretty good" readers were only mislead because they did not have a thorough grounding in grammar early on in school? And this being so was the only thing that lead to their inability to spell and write the language?

The rules about grammar and spelling in the English language have become so broken that grinding them into a student at the early grade school level will only lead to a conflicted impression about how one actually communicates in English. There is nothing wrong with teaching from a basis of phonetics at first if grammar and spelling are also included. SLOWLY.

I am dyslexic and find the French rules about grammar and spelling easier to comprehend than the pedantic, contradictory ones I learned in English. N'est pas? Je crois qu'il en soit ainsi.
Phonetics is not the answer but it was a standard part of teaching many moons ago when I went to school. This was when the strap was still commonly used!

Like most tools, the way it is used with other tools is most important, if you desire to achieve the greatest effect possible.
In short, phonetics as a tool can only be judged by tempering it with other tools and if in turn, it is not used in a hot headed single minded manner!
Good teachers know this, bad ones abuse it. If it were not for the fact that I had great teachers that understood these facts, my grammar and spelling skills could never have allowed me to become capable of posting this intelligently.

Those teachers and arm chair educators that today would do away completely with the usage of any phonetics are 'throwing the baby out with the bath water' and make me sick to my stomach. Worse they do a terrible disservice to the dedicated people who teach young children!

Re:I call horseshit (4, Interesting)

Kilrah_il (1692978) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964884)

On the flip side, I am now trying to learn sign language, and our teacher once told us that deaf people never make spelling mistakes, probably because they don't have the "phonetic bias". They just learn how a word should be written, with no connection to how it sounds. For them 'ph' and 'f' are entirely different and they never mix them up.

and later... (1)

clemdoc (624639) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964432)

...they'll become great cryptographers once they start texting in rot13 so mom can't spy on them.

Sure. (3, Interesting)

Zedrick (764028) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964434)

From TFA:

"may be"
"possible"

Interesting. It's also possible that injecting people with heroin helps them stay away from drugs. And may be beating children with baseball bats gives them a wonderful childhood. Who knows?

Re:Sure. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34964512)

It's also possible that injecting people with heroin helps them stay away from drugs. And may be beating children with baseball bats gives them a wonderful childhood. Who knows?

Obviously, we need more government-funded studies.

Re:Sure. (1)

hipp5 (1635263) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964654)

"may be" "possible"

That's just science speak, the same as how "Theory of Gravity" doesn't really mean that gravity is a nebulous theory concocted by some dude high on drugs. This study is based on a sample of the world's population, so there is a chance that there results aren't globally true. A scientist who claims "this IS true" without sampling each and every person in the world would be lying to you. However, it shouldn't be read as "we pulled these ideas out of our asses."

Yeah but the problem is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34964438)

;TLDR

K, lets try slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34964440)

K. If this works, where else can we use it? How about someone clone Slashdot. Get rid of the text message board, and force us to use a live VOIP program to read and reply to comments (i.e. listening and talking) . Maybe, instead of increasing spelling skills, the increased human exposure would improve our social skills!

BTW First Mic Spam.

Punctuation and capitals (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34964448)

Sure, now if we could just get the little darlings to find the "Shift" key occasionally and maybe toss in a period or comma now and again ...

Then again, maybe "textism" is the new "literate".

Re:Punctuation and capitals (1)

digitig (1056110) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964560)

Sure, now if we could just get the little darlings to find the "Shift" key occasionally and maybe toss in a period or comma now and again ...

Oh, please, no! Txtspk serves a purpose, but please not 1337!

Great spellers, but what about proper grammar? (1)

bartyboy (99076) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964450)

Anybody who texts should of known this already. Texting is not only addicting but educational!

Spelling FAIL! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34964478)

It's "should have known" not "should of known".

Re:Spelling FAIL! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34964534)

It's "should have known" not "should of known".

It ain't it's. Its it is not it's.

Re:Spelling FAIL! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34964584)

No, the parent used "it's" correctly.

Re:Double Spelling FAIL! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34964660)

This is the original Anonymous Coward. Epic FAIL for you!

Re:Spelling FAIL! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34964666)

It's "should have known" not "should of known".

It ain't it's. Its it is not it's.

LOL! Grammar Nazi FAIL!

Ebonics != Language (3, Interesting)

Bucc5062 (856482) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964476)

This is like saying Ebonics is a language.

So now, all our great works will be reduced to 140 characters with no caps, no punctuation, and hacked up spelling. ee cummings was way ahead of his time.

Re:Ebonics != Language (1)

Amorymeltzer (1213818) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964578)

And that would be awesome. See the success [newyorker.com] of the Six Word Memoir [smithmag.net] - the presidential ones are great. But so what? It's humorous and amusing and translating a work doesn't diminish it in the original language. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies doesn't make Jane Austen any less wonderful, so if there's a market for a twitter account condensing books ("Dammit where is that white whale?!") then full speed ahead!

Re:Ebonics != Language (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964708)

This is like saying Ebonics is a language.

So now, all our great works will be reduced to 140 characters with no caps, no punctuation, and hacked up spelling. ee cummings was way ahead of his time.

I'd say if something allows communication between two or more individuals, it's a language. Or are you referring to the language/dialect distinction?

Statistics (2, Insightful)

Legion303 (97901) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964544)

And yet the rate of instances in which I want to punch these texting douchebags repeatedly in the face is trending upwards.

Re:Statistics (1)

myoparo (933550) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964940)

I'm pretty sure that's what the old "wise-men" said when writing and reading first became popular too.

Damn writing doucebags.

kids, i lol 4 u and i lol at ur future (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34964642)

ur screwd.

Bollox (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34964680)

I want to see this damn study. Every summary, including the university's own, has a different age selection and a different size group. If you can't even read a study and get a concrete fact, like the number of subjects, correct how can you espouse on the conclusions with any accuracy.

"text-speak" in formal writing (0)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964702)

Sure, this is anecdotal, and the plural of anecdote is not data, but if students who text all the time are actually good spellers and have a grasp on English, why does it seem like more and more students are using text abbreviations in actual writing? It seems like almost every time I talk to my friends who are either graduate teaching assistants or actually teaching classes themselves someone else has done this on a paper. And this is in a large public university. The bigger problem to me is that people are texting so much, and seeing these abbreviations so much (advertising, twitter, etc) that they are not realizing that there are appropriate and inappropriate times to use these abbreviations, and more and more often they are using them at the wrong times.

Re:"text-speak" in formal writing (1)

NoZart (961808) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964726)

especially verbally. People saying "lol" with a stone cold face always makes me cringe...

Re:"text-speak" in formal writing (1)

PFI_Optix (936301) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964732)

My wife teaches sixth grade science, and she has seen a remarkable decline in the spelling abilities of her students in the eight years she has been teaching. Older teachers say the same thing: as texting became prolific, spelling errors increased dramatically. Studies be damned, when you look at what kids are actually doing in school, they seem to think that what they write in SMS messages is acceptable English for school assignments.

Re:"text-speak" in formal writing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34964886)

hmm or maybe she's just a bad teacher...

Re:"text-speak" in formal writing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34964764)

As somebody who learned English as a second language, I welcome these spelling experiments since I think English has horrible spelling. Sure, "drive through" might be the "correct" spelling, but isn't "drive tru" much better in all honesty? "a" is already a one letter word, why shouldn't "u" become one as well?

Re:"text-speak" in formal writing (1)

myoparo (933550) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964888)

The English writing system is indeed at fault. We teach in our schools that "u" and "r" have a certain sound but when those same kids we taught produce a sentence like "how r u?" that is deemed completely wrong even though it is phonetically correct.

I must be an awesome speller (3, Funny)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964714)

My spelling must be great, because I lived through the 8.3 DOS filename days.

Macro Expansion (2)

jdigriz (676802) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964752)

They really ought to include a text expansion feature in all IM and SMS programs. Then when the kid types gr8, it will appear as great in the actual message and there will be visual reinforcement of the correct spelling. It will also serve to reduce annoyance to people who hate txt speak. If the 140 char limitation is important in the application, then the messages can be transmitted as-is in txt-speak and translated automatically on the other side. Think of it as a primitive form of message compression.

Grammar Nazis (-1, Offtopic)

Cwix (1671282) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964756)

Hey grammar nazis. I can already tell that your evil little hearts are thumping with excitement around this article.

I just wanted to tell you one thing, since your all congregated in one place. Fuck off! No one gives a shit if you going around and correcting people, with a snarky little FTFY. You think your intellectually superior or something, your not. I hear people complaining, "you should proof read", "or pay more attention to misspelled words." Short answer... NO. This is not school. This is not a job. I derive no benefit from spending more time proof reading a post.

So in the future, you should post logged in. That way I can down mod you offtopic.

Re:Grammar Nazis (0)

gblues (90260) | more than 3 years ago | (#34965008)

Hey, grammar Nazis. I can already tell that your evil little hearts are thumping with excitement around this article.

I just wanted to tell you one thing, since you're all congregated in one place: fuck off! No one gives a shit if you are going around and correcting people with a snarky little "FTFY." You think you're intellectually superior or something, but you're not. I hear people complaining, "You should proof read!" or, "Pay more attention to misspelled words." Short answer: NO! This is not school. This is not a job. I derive no benefit from spending more time proof reading a post.

So in the future, you should post logged in. That way, I can down mod you off-topic.

FTFY.

Re:Grammar Nazis (4, Insightful)

Voyager529 (1363959) | more than 3 years ago | (#34965020)

I'll ignore the multiple spelling/grammar/punctuation flaws in your post for the sake of making my point.

You are Cwix, slashdot member #1671282. That is all I know about you, aside from what you write. Much of the internet is this way, though admittedly Facebook and texting imply some previous, and likely real-life relationship as well. Since the only further information others know about you is based on the content of your posts, the lack of proofreading and spellcheck running implies that accurately expressing yourself isn't valued. For the ladies, it's akin to wearing mismatched clothes or a wrinkled dress when going to a bar.

How you say what you say is just as important as the message you're trying to convey. This is why grammar nazis like myself make it a point to express ourselves accurately. Sometimes it's expressed condescendingly, and I think that THAT is a problem (since it obviously doesn't help much), but summarily knocking the desire to express one's self accurately is shortsighted.

Re:Grammar Nazis (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34965032)

Awesome troll! Mod parent up!

Re:Grammar Nazis (3, Informative)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 3 years ago | (#34965082)

I derive no benefit from spending more time proof reading a post.

Actually, you do. Because if you look illiterate in your posts, many people will assume you're illiterate. Or stupid.

Either of which means that they'll ignore anything you say as incoherent rambling.

Note, by the way, that you used "your" repeatedly in your post. In all the cases you used it, it should have been "you're"....

Re:Grammar Nazis (1, Insightful)

markdavis (642305) | more than 3 years ago | (#34965094)

"your"???

You do realize that poor grammar makes you sound juvenile and uneducated. We are not talking about lack of proof-reading. The "your" example in your posting, above, is a perfect example. It is not that you misspelled a word, or made a typo, you just don't know the difference between "your" and "you're"!

I am the first to admit that I am a horrible speller. But I know the correct words to use.... a spell checker can fix one, but it cannot fix the other. :)

That, and... (1)

Trip6 (1184883) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964784)

...abstinence education may help curb teen pregnancies. Just ain't so.

It is becoming more likely (1)

NuKe_MoNgOoSe (1941452) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964792)

That |337 speak very well could become the language of the future, and why not? More people are socializing now in the cyber environment in many cultures than they are in the real world. More and more people are meeting their life partners through sites like Lava Life rather than in bars or grocery stores. Internet abbreviations like lol and lmao and brb are as common as the word "the" or if you rather the common misstep "teh". No longer are people limited to finding a hometown girl/boy they can find love a continent away on the other side of the world. Now, because of this social movement there is required a global language and what better than geek speak to connect everyone on a global scale. I have friends from all over the world and there is not one of them that doesnt recognize internet abbreviations like lol and brb. The more sophisticated alpha-numeric way of speaking I find more popular around the cracker/hacker crowd, people who type everything 1n w4y5 much |1k3 7h15 50m3 g37 |\/|0r3 cr3471\/3.. If you pay attention though the masses, young or old, which populate cyberspace really do speak a language all their own. Me my kids my parents and their parents all understand this language at its base form. I will say, because I work in a field which requires me pouring over notes from all my employees that a fair percentage type out letters making a lot of the same changes to the english language as they do when txt'n or blogging. It is also not uncommon for me to occasionally see a 'lol' in a formal business email!

English, itself, is broken (1)

WarwickRyan (780794) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964822)

We should change the spelling of words in our language so that they have (and keep) a connection with the pronounciation of said words.

Convention over configuration, but for our language.

Re:English, itself, is broken (1)

myoparo (933550) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964902)

English isn't broken-- the English writing system is broken. Don't forget to make the distinction, which is important because the writing system of a language is only just an approximation of that language and should be modified whenever it can no longer accurately represent said language.

Like I said in a few posts already, the spelling bee is mainly an English-only thing for a reason. :)

Re:English, itself, is broken (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#34965076)

Tat is tru. Bat du ju sink eniwon will understend or bi ebl tu riid it if ju wrot it hau it is pronaunzd?

We learned for the longest time how to write English with its rather weird way of noting down what sounds completely different, changing that now might cause more problems than it would solve. Believe me, as a German who usually writes EXACTLY how it's pronounced, with a few exceptions, English sure was an odd written language to learn... but it's still WAY closer to its pronunciation than French will ever get.

Seriously, what's wrong with the French? Learning to write French is like learning yet another foreign language.

As a parent (1)

Fuzzums (250400) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964896)

you probably can't be more proud than the day when you find out your kid is a 1337 73xx70r...

Re:As a parent (1)

yeshuawatso (1774190) | more than 3 years ago | (#34965004)

Google brought up nothing for 1337 73xx70r, please translate for those of us who don't speak text-bonics.

Re:As a parent (1)

yeshuawatso (1774190) | more than 3 years ago | (#34965042)

Never mind, I figured it out. Elite Textor.

Umm (1)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964920)

'There is no evidence that children's language play when using mobile phones is damaging literacy development.'"

I give you...Facebook. A veritable cornucopia of evidence.

Depends on language (4, Interesting)

Waldeinburg (737568) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964932)

I think it depends on the language. E.g. in Denmark we have a common joke that "written Norwegian [that is, Bokmål] is just Danish with spelling errors" because Norwegian words generally are spelled more in line with the phonetics of the language than it's the case in Danish. Furthermore, the vowels and consonants are flattened in the language of my generation which makes the connection to the "official spelling" of words less obvious. I don't see how the phonetic spelling creativity of text messaging is going to help then.

Well, something is affecting it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34964982)

I wouldn't be surprised if texting doesn't cause particular problems, but when I see university students who can't tell the difference between "they're" "their" and "there", "it's" and "its", "then and "than", and "where" and "were", there's something wrong with the way they are being taught to write. They aren't getting the feedback they need, they aren't getting enough practice, or something else. I'm fine with the inevitable evolution that occurs within the English language, but when the usage doesn't even make SENSE, then there's a serious problem. If I received a job application riddled with as many junior-high-school-level errors as I've seen, I certainly wouldn't be encouraged to hire the person.

Playing with the language (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#34965036)

Remember those Dr. Seuss books? And how he played with words to find his rhymes? Text messages seem to work on a similar level. Shortening messages by using homonymous and homophonic letters and even numbers seem to do the same for our kids.

It can work adversely too. For me, it sure did sometimes with the English language (being no native speaker). I often learn words by tracing its root and then building on it. Which led me to write appearantly instead of apparently (since appear, i.e. "how something appears" is the root of the word), as well as accidently (because it's one of the few words where you don't simply add -ly to form the adverb).

In general, the "play with it" approach served me well with English, though. It works great in Spanish and French too. You can take a lot of words and "hammer them into shape" given the rules of the language you want to work in.

So while texting usually leads to wrong spelling, it seems our kids are well aware of it, and creating creative abbreviations for those words seems to spur their ability to actually understand. After all, they also gotta be able to read what their peers wrote.

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