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Texting Good or Bad for the English Language

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Alpha Phi

on 18 March 2014

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Transcript of Texting Good or Bad for the English Language

How Texting Effects the English Language
Texting Grammar
-LOL (laugh out loud) & (lots of love)
-BRB (be right back)
-G2G (got to go)
-FML (F*ck my life)
-OMG (oh my god)
-FYI (for your information)
-LMAO (laugh my a** off)
-ROFL (rolling on floor laughing)

-To, Too--2

*Punctuation and capitalization are ignored which results in forgetting to use it in formal writing.

The use of acronyms and abbreviations.
Several individuals use texting as a form of communication.
Symbols are utilized in texting conversations.
Facts about Texting
50% of surveyed teens said they do not use proper punctuation or grammatical marks when writing texts

11% said they thought electronic communications had a negative impact on their writing skills.

86% of adolescents think having good writing skills is important for success in life

64% of teens admit using techspeak in their classroom writing assignments, plus:
25% said they have used emoticons
38% have used abbreviations like LOL
Professional scholar, John McWhorter, discusses in his TED Talk how some individuals believe texting is the result to the decline in the literacy ability among young people today and it’s negative affects on our society as a whole. However, McWhorter believes that such notions are false and states that texting is a whole language on it’s own. He explains that our generation has discovered a way to write the way we speak by combining language (speech) and writing. This is known as “fingered speech” and is widely used by the mobile population today. It offers a less reflective and looser way of writing or communicating. Texting acts as a new way of writing that individuals use along side of their normal English writing skills. McWhorter categorizes this as being “bilingual,” which can in turn serve to be cognitively beneficial. He concludes his speech by expressing his questions and concerns on whether texting may one day officially become it’s own separate language entirely.
Misinterpretations of Texting
Abbreviations can be misinterpreted because not everyone knows what they mean, especially older generations.
Sarcasm and tone does not translate well over texting.
Not using punctuation can lead to confusion of meanings of texts.
Autocorrect can also change words and lead to misinterpretation.
Texting may have long term implications for the English Language.
It makes it difficult for people learn another language.
Will texting slang become part of face-to-face communication?
Texting Grammar Effects
Text lingo allows for use of very limited vocabulary and expression, which will inevitably lead to the decline of the language.
The Oxford English Dictionary defines
as “department of the study of a language which deals with its inflectional forms or other means of indicating the relations of words in the sentence, and with the rules for employing these in accordance with established usage; usually including also the department which deals with the phonetic system of the language and the principles of its representation in writing”. The OED uses the phrase 'relations of words in the sentence; texting in most cases does not use complete sentences. The whole point of texting is to convey a message quick and direct.
According to the Educational Technology and Mobile Learning, studies have shown that the higher the frequency of text messages the lower teens score on grammar exams. Teens use abbreviations for texting so much that when it comes to in class examinations they are unable to actually correctly spell each word and present it in a formal dialect. Furthermore, with the help of auto correct teens no longer need to actually know how to spell out the entire word but, only the main parts for auto-correct to prompt you with the correct spelling. This is a major contributor to decreased writing skills and leads to decreasing vocabulary. Another study showed that people who text often have smaller vocabulary’s and are less open to accept new words. This being because text messaging is a brief form of communication, people do not take the time to use larger words or elaborate on the particular subject.
Text Messaging Could Change the English Language
TED Talk: John McWhorter
Texting has it's own grammar much different from the English language, using it's own acronyms and symbols.
Overall, texting can have positive and negative affects on the English language and our society as a whole.
Some professional scholars believe that texting may in fact become it's own language one day.
"grammar, n." OED Online. Oxford University Press, March 2014. Web. 16 March 2014.

"Impact of Texting on Language." Wordpress.com. N.p., 11 Jan. 2013. Web. 13 Mar. 2014 <http://textingandlanguage.wordpress.com>

John McWhorter: Txtng is killing language. JK!!! YouTube. TED Talks, 22 Apr. 2013. Web. 14 Mar. 2014. <http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=UmvOgW6iV2s>.

Kharbach, Med. "The Effects of Texting on Your Grammar ~ Educational
Technology and Mobile Learning." The Effects of Texting on Your Grammar Educational Technology and Mobile Learning. n.d. Web. 14 Mar. 2014

Text Messaging Could Change the English Language. YouTube. N.p., 27 Mar. 2011. Web. 13 Mar. 2014. <

Simpson, Adam. "3 Contrasting Views on the Effects of Text Messaging on English Grammar". Teach Them Enlgish. N.p., 4 Jan 2013. Web. 13 Mar. 2014. <http://www.teachthemenglish.com/2013/01/3-contrasting-views-on-the-effects-of-text-messaging-on-english-grammar/>.

Texting is
for the English language

David Crystal (linguistic professor & author) debunks negative “myths” on the effects of texting:
- Myths:
1. Texting is done by kids only
2. Kids fill their messages with abbreviations
3. The kids created the abbreviations. It is modern
4. Kids do not know how to spell because they are leaving the letters out.
5. Because they do not know how to spell, we are going to have a generation of illiterates
There are 3 billion mobile phones in the world, two thirds of those people text, and 80 percent of those people are adults.
Only 10 percent of the words in text messages are actually abbreviated. This means that people are spelling words correctly the other 90 percent of the time.
Going back 100 years ago, people still used abbreviations.
In order to leave letters out, one must know they are there in the first place.
How does it ENRICH the English language? Well, everyone agrees that learning to read and write takes practice. To send and receive text messages, one must think about what they are writing and people have to learn how to express their ideas into certain amounts of characters, making the message concise and transferring this knowledge to literature and essay examinations.
This video concentrates mainly on the theory that texting is not causing the -- -- --English language to deteriorate; however, the point is brought up that it could very well be causing a decline in social interactions and face to face communication.


From personal experience, I have seen how high school teachers look down on electronics, specifically phones and texting. However, now, as a college student, I have noticed that professors are more open to using electronic devices and as a result I have been able to not only better organize myself but also further my study habits. The piece, 3 Contrasting Views on the Effects of Text Messaging on English Grammar, gives contrasting views: positive, negative, or neither on the subject. The positive effects in this article are:
Students are writing more than ever whether it is via text message or online forms of communication.
They are also revising their intricately thought out messages or posts, so peer reading is being practiced.
The assumption can be made that by texting, and having conversations through these types of messages, students are putting what they have been taught about English grammar to practice.
The modern day “language” of text messaging can also be used to show students how the English language has transformed, from Shakespearean English to “texting lingo”.
Texting may have a positive effect?
Will text-messaging language be taught in schools?
Educators in Victoria Australia have started teaching SMS text messaging in their language arts program. The students put together their own texting abbreviations and compare syntax of text messaging and formal English. The educators are treating text messaging as a different type of language; it has dialects and jargon just like every other language. Despite these educators thinking text-messaging language is a beneficial part of education, it is not likely that other schools will follow suit. Increased education with texting can increase the usage of cell phones for cheating. While it can be seen as useful, the knowledge can easily be abused.
Negative Effects of Texting on the English Language
Based on the dozens of articles and studies we have read for this project, it seems that a general consensus has been reached. Studies show both positive and negative effects of texting’s impact on the English language. According to Simpson’s article 3 Contrasting Views on the Effects of Text Messaging on English Grammar, students who have more recently sent or received a text message performed worse on grammar exams. He also addresses that students’ use of correct punctuation is dwindling. Not only is bad punctuation a problem but students are also using incorrect abbreviations without realizing it. Another blog, Impact of Texting on Language, criticizes the use of abbreviations and results of declining school performance. It addresses concerns of students having difficulties differentiating between formal and informal language in class. This blog also claims that texting is a distraction to students who think they can efficiently “multi-task.” Those who think they are able to learn and text at the same time tend to develop an inability to filter which information is relevant and which information is not.

Is texting causing a deterioration of behavioral and communication skills?

This video discusses how text messaging is effecting younger generations in terms of social behaviors and communication skills. One main point the video makes is that, “The teen years are critical when it comes to good social judgment.” Younger generations are not learning to distinguish between tone of voices and facial expressions. Children also could have trouble focusing in school, completing homework, or sleeping which are direct results of overuse of text messaging.
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