OMG: Txtngz bad fr kidz gramr

Txtngz bad fr kidz gramr, concludes a new study of Pennsylvania middle schoolers, reports Ed Week.

Middle school students who frequently use “tech-speak”—omitting letters to shorten words and using homophone symbols, such as @ for “at” or 2nite for “tonight”—performed worse on a test of basic grammar, according to a new study in New Media & Society.

. . .  the more often students sent text messages using text-speak (shortened words and homophones), the worse their grammar—a concern as 13- to 17-year-olds send more than twice the number of text messages each month than any other age group.

Researcher Drew Cingel started the project after receiving texts from his young nieces “that, for me, were incomprehensible,” he said in a statement. “I had to call them and ask them, ‘What are you trying to tell me?'”

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  1. Crimson Wife says:

    Where is the direction of causality? Perhaps kids with good grammar prefer to avoid using text speak in general. Plenty of adults I know are this way, though they do tend to use the @ symbol.

  2. @Crimson WIfe asks a good question. And I wonder what they’re talking about here (from the report on the study) — what is it that we should be discouraging our kids from doing?

    Further mediation analyses suggest that not all forms of textual adaptation are related to grammar assessment score in the same way. ‘Word adaptations’ were found to be negatively related to grammar scores, while ‘structural adaptations’ were found to be non-significant.

    As my kids would say, KTHXBAI