Luv 2 Txt | Teen Ink

Luv 2 Txt MAG

January 29, 2009
By Christina Costello BRONZE, Hopedale, Massachusetts
Christina Costello BRONZE, Hopedale, Massachusetts
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

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.

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This article has 306 comments.

Cassidy said...
on Jan. 4 2010 at 1:53 pm
i also write out full words. the only thing i don't do when typing / texting (obviously) is capitalize. i'm not sure why i don't; i just like how it looks better.

regardless, i use completely proper grammar and spelling when it comes to school assignments and my writing.

articles like this bother me: as a teenager who texts, i find them extremely condescending. i can honestly say, out of the dozens of people i text / instant message, the kind that use 'chatspeak' are very few and far between.

Mcgrabbin said...
on Dec. 14 2009 at 10:17 pm
I am seeing the same thing over and over:

"As long as [people know the difference]"

It is getting to the point where people no longer know the difference between "textspeak" and proper grammar.

The first rule of writing is to know your audience, if you don't write to your audience then your work is useless.

"Textspeak" is impermissible to use in everyday speech and should not be used in the majority of your writing. A large percentage of teenagers these days primarily use texting as their primary written communication. This corrupts their English, both written and spoken, in a way that cannot be allowed to continue.

It will be allowed to continue, no one cares enough.

on Dec. 14 2009 at 6:45 pm
LoveLikeWoe DIAMOND, LeSueur, MN, Minnesota
54 articles 2 photos 748 comments

Favorite Quote:
Whoever laughs first has the sickest mind.

i totally agree with you on this. GREAT OPINION!!! :D

But, it is alot easier to talk in txt form when ur in a hurry.

But saying stuff like:

il b bk L8r c u 2mor

IS rediculous. i have friends email me like that.

It says i'll be back later see you tomorrow.

:/ i had a hard time reading it too. and i typed it lol.

on Dec. 14 2009 at 6:57 am
AlessandraEloise SILVER, Monroeville, New Jersey
7 articles 0 photos 3 comments

Favorite Quote:
please take me out of my body, up through the palm trees to smell California in sweet hypocrisy.

I use full grammar while texting, I don't see the point in not. It takes much longer to try to decipher a ridiculous abbreviation.

I enjoyed your article. It was insightful for those oblivious.

ashley11 said...
on Dec. 12 2009 at 5:55 pm
wow this message really suprised me because I didn't know that the way I text effected my grades in school!

Hersheygurl said...
on Dec. 11 2009 at 6:21 pm
I love to text and there is nothing wrong with abbreviating when texting as long as you don't do it on english papers.

Querulous said...
on Dec. 10 2009 at 9:32 pm
Querulous is not a synonym for annoyed. Ruined your whole article for me. I'm sorry but mini rant about vocabulary and you get your vocab.

wordnerd said...
on Dec. 7 2009 at 8:43 pm
I don't text much...but I do talk a lot on MSN. As long as you don't get so into the "texting language" that you stop using proper grammer and spelling, it's fine to write like that when you are talking to your friends. Just make sure you DO NOT do that on your collage exams. :D

HollyFac said...
on Dec. 7 2009 at 7:20 pm
As long as people know the difference between texting to make plans this weekend and writing a college essay, we should be okay. Unfortunately, a lot of people don't. Personally, since I have a full keyboard on my phone, I use mostly correct grammar and spelling, but that's just me. Mind you, I'm planning on being an English/Lit major when I graduate. I'm thinking that could have something to do with it!

In any case, if you haven't noticed, we also talk different. We never verbalize properly, do we? I don't even verbalize properly and bad grammar makes my skin crawl. I don't even use totally correct grammar while IMing or posting a comment on a site like this. Why? Because I'm typing the way that I speak. "Txt" is just another, less formal way to use the English language. Sure, it really bugs me, but each their own.


Sximamma said...
on Dec. 7 2009 at 7:07 pm
Honestly I think we should be able to txt in class I play Softball all year. And my coach txts me and I got my phone taken away so we should be able to use them in class

GodsGirl said...
on Dec. 7 2009 at 2:27 pm
yes its a problem!! If you look at how you typed that sentence it was extremely repetative. On the other hand I do agree with you. Just because you text does not mean you're going to become a bimbo that only writes in txt lingo. I also text and I still know how to write a formal letter.... then again I've only been texting a year or so now and I'm sixteen... so I guess it all depends :)

Rasputin45SP said...
on Dec. 3 2009 at 1:59 pm
Yes, using "textish" instead of more formal language would be like speaking in Simlish. How much time does it really take to say "extra" instead of "Xtra" or "at", instead of " @ "? "Tha" isn't even an abbreviation. If an employer sees that this is your main writing style, it gives off the idea that you have low intelligence. I'm not saying that anyone here is stupid, by any means. But just try to be as literate as possible, even if it takes a millisecond more.

DOLLFACE1000 said...
on Dec. 3 2009 at 9:55 am
I think that anything is fine in moderation. I love to text, but I very rarely use abbreviations, because with t9, texting is already fast enough, and I dont really text that often, simply because I have a prepaid, and pay for my own minutes. Once in a while, though when I'm in the middle of doing something, I will abbreviate some. I think that as long as you don't do it too often, and you limit how often you're using "cuz" instead of "because" and "tho" instead of "though", and you edit your english paper before turning it in, you should be ok ={)

Cassandra said...
on Nov. 22 2009 at 8:38 pm
I agree with this article, but I don't think it will be effective on many teens' texting and instant messaging habits. Nice message, though.

on Nov. 22 2009 at 6:01 pm
spontaneous09 BRONZE, Dallas, Texas
1 article 0 photos 32 comments
I agree completely with this. When I text I actually use complete sentences with good grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc. I mean it seems kind of lazy sometimes to not type a few extra letters.

But, sometimes you need to get information to someone fast! So, short texts are convenient.

on Nov. 22 2009 at 5:15 pm
patientkindbalancedfine BRONZE, New York, New York
2 articles 0 photos 21 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Things do not change; we change."

"While the more popular kids spell out their words"? Popularity has nothing, absolutely nothing to do with this article. But, if we're on the topic, what you said is actually kind of puzzling to me, because the kids who are considered popular at my school generally "txt lk ths".

on Nov. 22 2009 at 5:09 pm
patientkindbalancedfine BRONZE, New York, New York
2 articles 0 photos 21 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Things do not change; we change."

I agree with most of what you're saying, but there is one part that's irrelevant:

"Could you understand the title of this article? Anyone who has ever texted or used instant messaging can." True, people who IM and text could...but so could my grandmother (who hasn't IMed or texted) if she simply sounded that out. I'd consider revising that part, make it so that it's more of a valid point that it does a better job of backing up your article.

on Nov. 22 2009 at 4:05 pm
literaryaddict PLATINUM, Albuquerque, New Mexico
23 articles 3 photos 157 comments

Favorite Quote:
"We're almost there and no where near it. All that matters is that we're going." Lorelai Gilmore, Gilmore Girls
"The whole theory of modern education is radically unsound." Lady Bracknell, The Importance of Being Earnest, Oscar Wilde

text-spelling is just fine when you're texting or IM-ing someone. but outside of social messaging, it's terrible. i can't stand it when people use abbreviations like "OMG" or "WTF" or "BFF". not only that, but also the grammar is horrible. it's awful to hear people say "there is cookies" or "me and so-so are going". i really do pride myself on my correct grammar. but, just like most people, i can lapse into lazy talk.

kasras said...
on Nov. 18 2009 at 8:52 pm
ya skype is even on the psp i got it yesterday!

on Nov. 8 2009 at 9:14 am
FlyleafFreak DIAMOND, Loveland, Colorado
51 articles 0 photos 203 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I have faith in fools;self confidence my friends call it"~Edger Allan Poe
"In this world of infinite insanity, your friends are the best psychiatrists you will ever have."~Me

This is so true! I agree that writing is becoming a lost art. Just the other day, someone in my Lit. class asked if they could use their phone to write notes. It is utterly shocking to see the grammar decline in America. Texting not only affects writing, but it affects speech too.