Don't Worry: Texting Won't Make You a Bad Writer


If you were worried that your constant texting was ruining your ability to write prose like the masters, chill da fuck out. A new study out of Australia and Canada shows that your simple human brain is actually skilled enough to go from standard English to txt spk and back again. Cool!

The study out of the Universities of Alberta (Canada), Tasmania and New Castle (both in Australia) found that college students who used text messages as a way to communicate had no problem using proper spelling when the situation called for it.

For the first part of the study, researchers took a sample group of 86 Australian and 150 Canadian undergraduates and asked their opinions on when text speak and abbreviations were appropriate to use.

From the Pacific Standard:

Participants in both countries (there were no significant difference between the Australian and Canadian samples) considered [textisms] most appropriate while texting a friend or a sibling, or during online chats with people in those categories. Few considered their usage appropriate when texting an older family member, and even fewer when communicating with a stranger.
That same pattern was found for emails. Regarding classwork, text-speak was considered moderately appropriate for use in lecture notes, but strictly off limits for assignments or exams.

For the second part of the study, researchers read 303 final-exam papers written between 2009-2010 and found “Only a very small percentage of words written in these exam papers could be counted as textisms.” (I’d assume, however, that text speak has gotten even more prevalent in the past four years so who knows how accurate this is currently — I imagine most academic papers are now written entirely in emoji.)

Well, that’s promising news. You can post emoji dicks all you want and still be Louisa May Alcott on paper. 8===D

Image via Shutterstock.

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