Sunday, September 17, 2006

Txt'ing Good News

The above article points to some good news - not only were 11 year olds "texting" each not harming their spelling and writing skills, but they may actually be improving their skills.

Texting is the term used to describe sending short messages using a cell phone (or more officially, SMS messaging) . The messages usually contain a large number of abbreviations and short cuts for words (e.g., C U L8r)

According to the article, "Those children who were the best at using "textisms" were also found to be the better spellers and writers."

Texting is an example of technology that most parents and teachers look at and cringe. They think, back in my day we wrote real letters, and now kids are tapping away on thier phones. They aren't using punctuation, capitalization or even real words.

But, the thing is, kids are using writing to communicate - and that's a good thing. It forces them to express themselves in a compact manner and in a way that their peers will readily understand. Not an easy challange, and a skill worth mastering.

Heck, did the telepgraph or telegram ruin language? Nope. For those mediums, and SMS, it's all about compression.

Do kids need to learn that sometimes texting is OK and sometimes real English needs to be used? Of course. But that's part of being an adult and an important skill to master in and of itself. It falls in the same category of knowing when you have to wear a suit, versus your favorite jeans.

Perhaps this next generation can take Strunk and White's advice to "omit needless words" and take it one step further to "omit needless characters."

Via: Textually


No comments:

Post a Comment