A few years ago I was a non-traditional (= old!) college student and forced to take Comp 110 and 111 as a requirement for my degree.  I was amazed at many of the younger students lack of writing skills.  They didn’t know when to use “their” “there or “they’re.”  The didn’t know how to organize a paragraph, a paper, or in many cases, even how to write a complete, cohesive sentence. 

The advent of text messaging and the informality of email has contributed greatly to this lack of writing skills.  “C” has replaced “see;” “thanx” has replaced “thanks;”  and the ubiquitous LOL is so overused that some people now write “literally LOL” to distinguish, I guess, from the times they are only figuratively laughing out loud? 

Language changes; I get that;  “Couch” instead of “Davenport;”  “Heels” instead of “pumps.”   But are the basics, correct spellings, grammar and punctuation, becoming passe? 


3 Responses to “antiqwT”

  1. Eyebrows McGee Says:

    On the flip side, I\’ve been tutoring kids in English for 14 years (started in high school) and I actually find Generation Text a lot easier to work with. Ten years ago I couldn\’t get kids to put thoughts on paper. Today, it\’s as natural for them to write about something as to talk about it.

    It\’s much easier to teach them how to un-textify their papers and clean up the grammar — both things that can be taught! — than it is to try to convince them that writing in and of itself isn\’t \”too hard\” and too far outside their experience of communication to bother with.

  2. jenjw4 Says:

    Text messaging, instant messaging and emailing facilitating written communication is a great point. I wonder how these short communiques will change language? Will our rules of spelling and grammar change in response?
    I\’m not saying this is necessarily bad. English spelling, especially is needlessly complicated (think \”through\” vs. \”thru\”).

  3. Cory Says:

    Even more amazing than the lack of grammar skills in the early 20’s set is the lack of grammar and sentence structure skills among working professionals. I email back and forth with supposedly intelligent, well-paid people on a daily basis, and many of them can’t figure out when they should use a period.

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