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Texting is not killing the English language

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by

Eric Dixon

on 5 June 2015

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Transcript of Texting is not killing the English language

Main Points
Not harming sense of English
Enhancing comprehension and literacy skills
Texting is not killing the English language
Study done by Coventry University
The three most common types of violation were:
• omission of capitalisation and punctuation (hi how are you)
• omission of words (common in casual speech but not standard writing, as in am going out now. want to come?)
• unconventional punctuation (using multiple punctuation marks (??!!!), or emoticons ☺, kisses (xxx) and initialisms (lol) in place of normal punctuation)
Results
There was no evidence that the use of grammatical violations in text messages is consistently related to poorer grammatical or spelling skills in school students.
Primary and high school students’ use of ungrammatical word forms (eg, does you), and high school students’ omission of capitals and punctuation, and use of word reductions (eg, gonna) were all associated with better or faster spelling development.
From this...
From this we learn that using "textisms" works the mind, by allowing new, creative ways of thinking to occur.
"Young people seem well aware that different types of communication require different ways of writing. As long as young writers can maintain this awareness, then the violations of grammar common in digital communication need not be perceived as a reduction in writing skill, but rather as the addition of an alternative, casual style to the writer’s repertoire." -Nenagh Kemp (Senior Lecturer, University of Tasmania)
Enhancing comprehension and literacy skills
John McWhorter: TED Talk
Texting is not harming our English
Exposure to “textisms” (the abbreviated spellings of text messages) is actually associated with better literacy skills.
In short, the evidence suggests that grammatical violations in the text messages of children, adolescents, and adults do not reflect a decline in grammatical knowledge.
By: Eric Dixon
Recap
John states that youth and adolescents are actually benefiting from the use of texting as it improves comprehension and other literacy skills.
"And so, the way I'm thinking of texting these days is that what we're seeing is a whole new way of writing that young people are developing, which they're using alongside their ordinary writing skills, and that means that they're able to do two things. Increasing evidence is that being bilingual is cognitively beneficial. That's also true of being bidialectal. That's certainly true of being bidialectal in terms of your writing. And so texting actually is evidence of a balancing act that young people are using today, not consciously, of course, but it's an expansion of their linguistic repertoire." -John McWhorter
Thank you for listening!
Full transcript