Texting can influence grammar and spelling skills in every day writing

Researchers at Northwestern University, Illinois and Penn State have discovered that texting may influence tweens to use poor grammar in everyday writing. The word count limit on most mobile phones restricts the use of proper spelling and grammar, leading users to type shortcuts, acronyms and remove “non-essential” words.

The study involved testing tweens on their grammar. This was based on a standard ninth grade grammar test. The researchers then asked the tweens to complete a questionnaire about their texting habits, which included questions about their opinions on texting, and how frequently they text.

The researchers concluded that tweens who tended to adapt and shorten words and phrases via text scored lower on the tests than the tweens who did not.

“There is no question that technology is allowing more self-expression, as well as different forms of expression. Cultures built around new technology can also lead to compromises of expression and these restrictions can become the norm,” said S. Shyam Sundar, a co-author of the research paper.

The entire study can be found at the website of journal New Media and Society.

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