Are text messages hurting language?


Photo – Nancy Carson
A man is sending a text message.

Adapted from The Vancouver Sun by Nancy Carson
Level 2

Is it a new kind of English?
Is it hurting our language?
Young people are texting often.
Will they forget how to spell?
Will they forget how to write good English?

Studying text messages
A man, at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby,
is studying text messages.
No one else is studying English text messages.

People send messages to him.
He looks at over 7,500 messages.
He says most people spell
the whole word in their messages.
They want to send a short message.
They also want to send the message very fast.

How do we text?
He says Canadians text in different ways.
}The texting changes when the reader changes.
For example, we speak one way to our doctor.
And we speak another way with friends.

What the study shows
People use “you are” and “u r”
the same number of times.
“Please” and “thank you”
are used three times more than “pls” and “thx”.
“See you” is used four times more than “c u”.
So scientists do not think
texting is hurting our writing.

Do you text?
Do you send messages in English?
Or do you use some words
from your first language?
Let us know.