Text messaging rings for new grammar, spelling

Text messaging has become one of the most popular ways to communicate a quick message to friends, family and peers over the cellphone, through instant messaging, in chat rooms, and on online discussion boards.

Many people, the younger generation and adults alike, have adopted this new language generated from rapidly evolving technologies.

However, for someone who does not know the language of text, or is not fluent in the English language, many of these "words" might mean something totally different or may appear as cryptic code.

It is controversial whether this new digital language causes problems with spelling, grammar and sentence structure. Presently, many educators and professionals prefer not to see students and colleagues professionally writing with abbreviations, substituted numbers for letters and initialism codes, such as "b4" for before or "w/o" for without.

Furthermore, many educators have expressed fear that this type of communication could become a habit in written assignments, straying from the appropriate use and understanding of proper grammar.

It does remain uncertain how this new "grammar" will develop and what its consequences will be. However, we can predict that its use will continue to grow and expand, changing styles of writing, spelling and punctuation.

While there are thousands more that can be googled, listed below is some common text talk as a starting point for acknowledging this communication and the messaging skills that many of our students and peers are experts at using.

plz: pleaseur: your or you are

c: seeu: you

gr8: greatbc: because

LOL: laughing out loud

BRB: be right back

IM: instant message or I am or I'm

Challenge: Decode the message below.

Plz 4give me. Im L8. cul8tr.

Answers: Please forgive me. I am late; (so I'll) see you later.

While texting can be convenient for quick messages, continuing to learn and absorb proper grammar is important. It conveys intelligence, professionalism, education and command of the English language.

Heather Vlach is an English-language specialist and Intensive Studies educator at International School Bangkok in Nonthaburi. Contacted her at heatherv@isb.ac.th .

About the author

Writer: Heather Vlach
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