Textese may drive teachers crazy, but linguists say it develops literacy, writes Lily Huang in Newsweek.
David Crystal’s Txtng: the Gr8 Db8 (Oxford) makes two general points: that the language of texting is hardly as deviant as people think, and that texting actually makes young people better communicators, not worse.
. . . in one British experiment last year, children who texted â€” and who wielded plenty of abbreviationsâ€”scored higher on reading and vocabulary tests. In fact, the more adept they were at abbreviating, the better they did in spelling and writing. Far from being a means to getting around literacy, texting seems to give literacy a boost. The effect is similar to what happens when parents yak away to infants or read to toddlers: the more exposure children get to language, by whatever means, the more verbally skilled they become. “Before you can write abbreviated forms effectively and play with them, you need to have a sense of how the sounds of your language relate to the letters,” says Crystal.
What comes after texting?