Luv 2 Txt This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

January 29, 2009
More by this author
You need to send a quick text to your mom to tell her soccer practice is canceled. In an effort not to get caught, you reach ever so slowly, skillfully, and one-handedly into your backpack. Drawing your bright purple handheld lifeline from the front pocket, you are careful not to press any button that will reveal your mission to Mr. Boring, who is yapping away at the front of the room. With the phone in your lap, you try not to look down as you type: “sccer canceled! pick^ @2 thx <3.”

Sent. You slip it into you pocket, fearing you will not be able to discreetly get it back in your bag. But wait … your BFF Lucy’s hair looked utterly ridiculous when you passed her in the hall on your way to bio. It’s unthinkable to wait until lunch to tell her. Only a horrid friend would let her saunter around with a mortifying hairdo! So, you repeat the sneaky process of texting: “Fix ur hair, its sticking ^!!!!” Now, not only have you just missed two whole possibly important minutes of Mr. Boring’s lecture, but you have furthered the decline of your spelling and vocabulary.

Could you understand the title of this article? Anyone who has ever texted or used instant messaging can. Most teens love to text. What our English teachers, parents, and future employers would prefer us to say is “I love grammar,” which most of us don’t. There are times when we have to use proper grammar and times when we don’t. The problem is that the line between when to spell-check and proofread and when to just type and send is becoming blurred and almost invisible.

The way we type when we use virtual communication devices affects the way we spell – not just when we’re in a rush, but on school or job assignments too. Ever caught yourself writing u instead of you in an ­essay for school? What about tho instead of though? In a world where instant gratification is everything, we simply do not take the time to add the few extra letters. Although teens today will eventually become the ones who set the standards for spelling and grammar, our elders are calling the shots now, and they tend to look down on spelling and grammatical errors. This could easily affect one’s grades or job opportunities.

Notice it or not, the words we choose, or rather don’t choose, when we use informal communication have significance. Rarely in a text message will a teen use the extensive vocabulary preached by our educators. Seldom do we see the word exultant for happy, morose for sad, querulous for annoyed, or ecstatic for glad in a text. We must reawaken this vast glossary of obscure and unused words if we expect to succeed on exams like the SATs that affect our future.

So, go ahead, work your fingers to the bone texting, but before you hit send, think about what you have written. Consider the words you chose and the way you spelled them and maybe, just maybe, you will retype your message.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

Join the Discussion

This article has 305 comments. Post your own now!

120312Ser said...
Oct. 15, 2013 at 3:38 pm
I agree that the way you text someone will affect your essays in school and the way you can get opportunities too get a job and get good grades in school because it all depends on the proper English you have or grammar
Sarahm15 said...
Oct. 15, 2013 at 3:38 pm
I think texting is an unintelligent and tedious activity. It involves improper grammar and half the time doesn't make sense. Frankly, it's a waste of time.
Ms. P said...
Oct. 15, 2013 at 3:38 pm
I think all students should use proper grammar at all times.
Theshorty_wendy said...
Oct. 15, 2013 at 3:37 pm
I think that everyone should just write or text whenever they want!!! Just make sure it makes sense
Bree said...
Oct. 15, 2013 at 3:37 pm
No one types like that. Even if you're in a rush. You type out the sentence completely. If I have to text someone quickly, I'll write a shorter sentence, but I will not misspell things.
Scubasam12 said...
Oct. 15, 2013 at 3:29 pm
I don't use autocorrect on my phone due to the fact that I will be relying on technology to fix my grammar. But some people actually really need auto correct because then they right lyke diz!
Nickycamp said...
Oct. 15, 2013 at 3:28 pm
"1f u typ4 l1k3 d1s" I'm judging you.
Valerie S. said...
Mar. 29, 2012 at 11:28 am
If you text 'lyk dis!!' you need a dictionary. I cannot stand people who do that or not use smiley faces, It feels like in texting an emotionless robot!>_<
happilyeverafternot said...
Mar. 7, 2012 at 2:31 pm
I think that texting is the place for this short hand. I can spell words correctly and am an A student but I do "txt like dis" and I think its ok because its texting. I don't write it in my school papers or even writing notes to my friends (unless I do it on purpose). I think if you are a person who has grown up using long hand, not one of those 5-year-olds who have a smartphone already and can't spell anything, texting shorthand is not a problem.
BekahBekah replied...
Aug. 31, 2012 at 2:47 am
I agree! My thoughts exactly.
Studio_Ghibli-O said...
Jan. 23, 2012 at 1:18 pm
I sometimes use short hand when I'm in a rush, or chatting with close friends, but when it's more formal, or I have the time, I will use longhand. Even when I text quickly, I try to punctuate correctly, as it can change the meaning of a phrase. this is a really good article. I'm glad so many teens agree with it. :)
MaxRide replied...
Feb. 14, 2012 at 8:08 am
the only time I ever used texting-grammar is when I am texting a friend or I am in a rush. I write correctly in emails, my journals, my stories, ect. I completely understand what you are saying, and I love to use big vocabulary! :) (I do put smileys though in emails and comments)
TyTy22 said...
Jan. 1, 2012 at 1:56 pm
love this website
ThisGirl said...
Jan. 1, 2012 at 1:44 pm
I love obscure words! I just never get an opportunity to use them.
Studio_Ghibli-O replied...
Jan. 23, 2012 at 1:12 pm
Any chance I get to use an obscure word, I take it. Not to appear "smart", but because I like them. They give a deeper meaning to what I'm trying to say.
lovemenot said...
Dec. 10, 2011 at 10:11 pm

Thank You! I hate it when my friends dont use proper words when I text them. It gets so annoying! Thank you for sharing your clearly right opinion.


Studio_Ghibli-O replied...
Jan. 23, 2012 at 1:13 pm
Some of my friends will post on their wall: "if u tlk lk ths, dnt txt me." I agree.
abnormal said...
Dec. 10, 2011 at 8:14 pm
I agree, partly.  I find myself spellling "wat" instead of "what" all the time.  It is a convience though that shouldn't be downgraded.  I think that as long as adolescents are recieving fon- phones in their teens, then it won't affect them as much as younger children getting them then really mixing things up.
half-bloodgirl said...
Dec. 10, 2011 at 6:38 pm

I appreciate this article, because when my friends message me using extreme shorthand to say something completely random and unpersonal, I feel like they don't care about me, especially after I've just sent them a long message that bares my soul.


FULLSTOP said...
Nov. 18, 2011 at 9:27 am
Am i aloud to say i love this when i text all the time? teehee. I luv it anyway!!! Any chance u- i mean you- coud check out some of my work.
Site Feedback