While some parents, educators and language traditionalists argue that slang used in text messaging – either emoticons (such as :) ) or textisms (shortcuts like “b4” for before or “2nite” for tonight) –are eroding English skills among young people, a new report published in the British Journal of Developmental Psychology tells a different story.
The study, conducted on 88 grade-school students by researchers at Coventry University in England, found no evidence of a relationship between frequently typing in textisms and diminished spelling ability.
In fact, the more textisms students used, the higher they tended to score on measures of word-based learning and vocabulary. This suggests that when young people use text message lingo, they are actually being artful – not just lazy – and building a heightened awareness of letter patterns and sounds.
[via Christian Science Monitor]