Saturday, February 20, 2010


“Grammar, which knows how to control even kings.” -- Moliere

IYO..txt grmr = ndb?

Or, in your opinion, is text grammar no big deal? Or do you think that it’s leading to student’s poor grammar usage in papers, emails, homework assignments and everyday life? Is texting to blame?

Well, IDK.
There’s no doubt that text messaging is all about convenience. It’s usually quicker to send a message than to call someone, wait for them to pick up, say hello, ask how their day is, and then get to your point. While making a phone call may be uncomfortably awkward while in the classroom, on a bus, or in a crowded room, texting allows people to send almost covert messages to each other without causing any ruckus. Since texting has become a phenomenon, texters have created their own language through which to communicate, of course adding to the quickness and ease of texting.

Is this language invading other aspects of our society?

My teachers seem to think so. At the beginning of each semester, every single one of my teachers needs to explain to me that emails are a type of formal communication. That means complete sentences, punctuation, capitalization—the works—and really, can you blame them? I often find myself neglecting to capitalize the letter “I,” I use the acronym IDK at least 5 times daily, and sometimes writing out full sentences feels like a chore.

Some scholars seem to believe that texting is a good thing. Kids need to read and write possibly hundreds of times daily to communicate. Timothy Shanahan, president of the International reading association, believes that texting puts pressure on students to be capable and efficient readers. “With so much written chatter, being able to read and write have become definite social advantages. There is simply much more pressure to know how to read than in the past…” This article points out that having a different set of words and abbreviations forces students not only to be comfortable with different styles of writing, but to understand in what situations to different aspects of language. (graphic =

Students now need to know how to write research papers formally, to correspond correctly with friends, colleagues and authorities. Students also need to be able to converse quickly through text messaging, and more importantly, they need to be able to distinguish between all of these circumstances.

This article on, called Texting is Not the End of English Grammar , argues that while ostensibly, text messaging seems to disregard all rules and regulations of grammar, intrinsically, all of these rules are still coming in to play. The grammar may be implied, rather than immediately obvious. While punctuation is not always included, it is implied by spaces. (ex. I love u c u l8r – no punctuation, but it is assumed that the two phrases are separate and independent thoughts.)
So what is it? Is it helping or hurting? Is texting making today’s younger generation illiterate, or is it making them adaptable?

Idk. L8r g8r.


  1. I have to say that I really agree with the comment, "sometimes writing out full sentences feels like a chore." When I feel comfortable enough with a teacher I just want to quickly get out my thoughts instead of sitting out and thinking of a proper way to write it all. I definitely have to agree that discretely sending a text is a lot easier than making a phone call while you're in public, or on a bus you said. I don't think that our generation is lacking the proper grammar skills BECAUSE of the informal way that we communicate. Grammar can still be taught in school and utilized while in school. I'd say that most are perfectly aware of when is the time for proper grammar and when is not, some are just lazy though.

  2. Surprised more people didn't weigh in on this one LOL! You make some good points and I like the linked articles too. I guess my thinking deviates a bit from others. I don't think every email is "formal communication." Much like different types of writing (letters, reports, research, proposals, term papers, narrative stories) style varies. In the context of just exchanging a few words with one's social network, does the medium match the task? Now, I AM assuming the "texter" has formal training in English. I'm just wondering if new technologies are expanding the many different ways we communicate....