Unless you never have any reason to talk or exchange written correspondence with teenagers today, you’ve probably come across at least one whose grammar was simply retarded. You think to yourself, “What the hell are they teaching kids in school these days?” And if you have come across this phenomenon, chances are you at least in part connect it to poor grammar use while texting.
Well, now there’s some research to prove it.
A recent study conducted by Drew Cingel, a former undergraduate student in communications at Penn State University and current graduate student at Northwestern University (have to love allegiance to the Big Ten!), has shown a connection between those who text the most and those with the worst grammar. Cingel prepared a grammar test with the help of middle school teachers and administered it along with a survey about texting. The survey sought to find out how often students texted, how many “short cuts” were used in their recent texts, and asked their opinion on the importance of texting.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, those who texted the most and used the most abbreviations scored the worst on the grammar test.
Of course, using proper grammar and using shortcuts while texting aren’t mutually exclusive. At least, you wouldn’t expect them to be. It seems to me that someone should be able to easily switch back and forth, so long as someone has taught them the proper rules.
For example, no matter how much they texted, students still had no problems using proper punctuation and capitalizing sentences. However, it does seem that using text lingo on a consistent basis makes it difficult for some students to switch out of texting mode.
I wonder how long it will be until text-speak is just an accepted form of the English language?