Texting Effects on Written Communication Skills

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Jake Morris

Texting Effects on

Written Communication Skills

Abstract

Text messaging, especially in young people, is setting up the dynamics that will present challenges as they continue to grow and mature. Those challenges will present themselves as an inability or difficulties in forming proper sentences and perhaps even result in being unable to differentiate the basic writing nuances in words that sound alike, but have different meanings. This effort on the following pages will present solid arguments as to why this is an alarming - and growing - problem. Linguists have long since provided irrefutable arguments and proof that text messaging as a primary written language has G2G (got to go in texting). Those arguments and evidence will be presented throughout this project.

Texting Effects on Written Communication Skills

Introduction and Background

Wireless users sent thirty million text messages in the United States during the month of June 2001. This, according to the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association, was nothing compared to the number of text messages sent just one year later. That thirty million had ballooned into one billion. Not only that, but the U.S. population is currently 314,924,973 (Census Bureau) yet there are 321.7 million wireless subscriber connections (CTIA 2012). That number is indicative of the U.S., Puerto Rico, Guam and the USVI, but the numbers tell an important tale: we have officially and permanently gone wireless in our modern society. With that complete transformation comes the modern language nuances associated with text messaging. Unfortunately, this is not just a phase, but rather, a new and disturbing trend that can easily transition into adulthood, resulting in these young people struggling to fill out job applications or prepare a proper resume, not to mention the other problems they are sure to face with an inability to formulate in their minds the difference between 'your' and 'you're'.

No longer are today's young people typing complete sentences, but they're "shorting" their messages. Sometimes the goal is to confuse parents, most often, they're sending so many text messages that it's unrealistic to believe they could type out proper sentences with proper grammar and proper noun and verb usage. In fact, they'd likely be teased for doing so. Instead of, "Do you want to go to Colin's party tonight? His parents are out of town.", teens and even young adults are asking, "Par-t at C's 'rents gone". This has linguists and other speech and writing experts concerned that "sloppy, undisciplined habits among American youths" is inevitable (Dansieh 2011). Others, however, are less concerned and say history teaches slang words come and go. This, though, is about far more than those catchy slang words that come and go. "Groovy" had its day as did "far out"; this, however, is an entire generation that's learning its own speaking and writing language that's anything but accurate.

The question is why, if they're going to "type" messages instead of dialing a phone number, would they not maintain some sense of accuracy in doing so? That answer is simple: the numeric phone buttons are much smaller and they're not exactly "typing" on a traditional keyboard, but rather a series of less than fifteen keys (Dansieh 2011). Couple that with the latest technological advances, such as touch screens that offers its own auto-correct, and the opportunities for bypassing proper grammar is too easy. One interesting example includes a conversation between two teenaged girls who were discussing when another friend would be returning to school. Girl A texted, "WA G?", to which Girl B replied, "AFAIK, pay d BTW not catchy" Translated loosely, the conversation was: "What about Gina?" to which her friend replied, "As far as I know Friday. By the way, she's not contagious". One who spends hours at work on the...
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