Text Message Speak in Term Papers?

@Melizzy (1381)
United States
February 9, 2007 11:47pm CST
I found this on CNN and I have noticed it al ot on message boards. Text message speak does nothing for the English language or pay to post sites like this one. Read and tell me what you think please. Middle school teacher Julia Austin is noticing a new generation of errors creeping into her pupils' essays. Sure, they still commit the classic blunders -- like the commonly used "ain't." But an increasing number of Austin's eighth-graders also submit classwork containing "b4," "ur," "2" and "wata" -- words that may confuse adults but are part of the teens' everyday lives. This "instant messaging-speak" or "IM-speak" emerged more than a decade ago. Used in e-mails and cell phone text messages, most teens are familiar with this tech talk and use it to flirt, plan dates and gossip. But junior high and high school teachers nationwide say they see a troubling trend: The words have become so commonplace in children's social lives that the techno spellings are finding their way into essays and other writing assignments."The IM-speak is so prevalent now," said Austin, a language arts teacher at Stonewall Jackson Middle School in Orlando. "I'm always having to instruct my students against using it."Vicki A. Davis, a high school teacher at Westwood Schools in Camilla, Georgia, said she even finds the abbreviated words in term papers."I'm Southern, but I wouldn't use the sayings, "squeal like a pig" or "kick the bucket," in formal writing (because) some people may not understand," Davis said. "IM-speak should be treated the same way."
2 people like this
4 responses
@emeraldisle (13146)
• United States
10 Feb 07
What gets me is I don't even use most IM speak when I do IM. I still type out I'd say ninty-five percent of the words. It's more the text messaging that the examples were of but either way it is a problem. The students need to learn and learn now that it is not appropriate. Not everyone is able or would want to be able to read such writings. They need to know that when they get out into the business world where written language can be a key to getting employment that most will not even bother reading a resume or application written with such short cuts. Short cuts and abbreviations have their place but not in formal writing.
@shaz6611 (951)
• Australia
10 Feb 07
I am the same with my text messaging there are only a few words that I might use IM speak for such as, u = you and r = are. I totally agree that short cuts have no place in formal writing.
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Feb 07
IM speak is not proper english and it should not be used as proper english. It definitely needs to be separate. IM speak is not cool, it's annoying. People are just too lazy to type. I really think that needs to be changed.
1 person likes this
@Melizzy (1381)
• United States
10 Feb 07
I tend to be on your side. I understand the need for quick typing especially on super small type pads, but in a term paper? I read somewhere that there is actually a novel that has been written entirely in IM speak!!!
• United States
10 Feb 07
i am guilty of 'im speak' sometimes here on mylot because i've corporal tunnel syndrome. i also don't do caps because for some reason, i have no reason why, if there's any capital letters in my paragraph, the page won't load and i loose the whole paragraph! i use linux and firefox. as for im speak, we should probably be happy the kids are reading/writing at all in their everyday lives. it's sad, but it's true.
@k1tten (2321)
• United States
10 Feb 07
I think it needs to be changed. It would irk the heck out of me if I had to discifer everything my students wrote.
1 person likes this