Testing can be compared to free writing and most of he time students don’t realize what they are doing when their testing, but really they are practicing writing on a daily basis. Although, text messaging forsakes spelling, sentence structure, capitalization, and punctuation in favor of speed, when a student sits down to write a formal paper for a school assignment they are usually not rushed to get done with it. Teachers should ignore this new way of communication and should be aware that students will always be testing, because from the looks of it, it is here to stay!
Students are very capable of alternating between testing language and formal writing or say appropriate language. Students are inventing a language that adapts to the 160 character limit of short messages (Shaffer, Acid, Osama 97). They must shorten their words or make abbreviations in order to send a quick short text; I mean it is called the short message system (SMS) for a reason right? In John Humphreys article called I ha txt megs, he is very ignorant and thinks that testing has ruined the English language.
Don’t waste your time!
Order your assignment!
He says that the abbreviations are becoming too complicated to understand, he gives the example of “IMHO LLC R GAR” which means “In my humble opinion you are retreat” (84). Humphreys over exaggerates this because nobody just makes up their own abbreviations, if everyone did this nobody would know what anybody was talking about. Most shortcuts that are used are relatively common to the testing world; the five simple abbreviations that every ‘tested should know they are, OMG, LOL, J, LAMA, and BTW.
Also when you are testing on a small keyboard it takes up more time to add in a comma, capitalize a letter, or add in a hyphen, these things are most commonly skipped, not because people are “lazy’, but because it uses up more words ND text messaging systems only have a 160 word limit. It’s really annoying to have to go to a different screen because not everything you use to type with can fit on one key board off cell phone. Also, it is not a “rule” that you have to use abbreviated language says David Crystal (15). It is your own personal choice weather you choose to abbreviate words or drop vowels when you are testing.
Weather vowels are removed from a word, the word is still recognizable and the meaning is not diminished. Text messages are supposed to be short and get the point across, and academic papers serve a impolitely different purpose. They must have proper grammatical and sentence structure. Typing on a normal “qwerty’ keyboard is completely different from using a cell phone to text. On a phone, the keyboard is drastically reduced in size so it is often a hassle to add a comma or an apostrophe because you have to use several different key strokes.
When on a “qwerty” keyboard it takes no extra time at all to add in these punctuations. Also, when writing a formal paper it has to be written in a certain style and there is criteria criterion that must be fulfilled. While testing on the other hand, has no regulations that have to be followed. Although teachers shouldn’t be very concerned about the effect testing has on students, it would benefit students’ writing abilities if teachers would inform and teach more about how formal papers should be written. This will reinforce the writing abilities that all students have but just aren’t aware of yet.
David Crystal is quoted in “The Relationships Between “Textiles” and Formal and Informal writing Among Young Adults,” (Rosen 421) he says, “l do not see how testing loud be a significant factor when discussing children who have real problems with literacy. If you have difficulty with reading and writing, you are hardly going to be predisposed to use a technology that demands sophisticated abilities in reading and writing. And if you do start, I would expect the additional experience of writing to be a help, rather than a hindrance” (Crystal 157).
Teachers should try to adapt and accept that no matter what is said, testing is always going to be here and students are never going to simply stop testing. Students learn from what they have been taught, so if teachers can take the time to teach kids at a young age the difference between text messaging and writing a formal academic paper; they can understand when to use the short-hand text language and the proper formal writing language. It is not difficult to decipher formal writing from informal writing when you have been educated about what is appropriate and what is not to write in a formal paper.
It’s hard to understand how some people can get the two so easily confused; it is like confusing Spanish with English. Testing can be compared to any other genre Of writing such as poetry, journaling and short stories. There have always been different styles of writing, each for their own purposes. All genres have their own presentations and formats just like a formal writing assignment does. If a poet can write a poem however they like, than a student should be able to abbreviate their words and take out vowels whenever they want too.
For the people that agree that text messaging does have an effect on students formal writing, can you also say that note taking as an effect on student’s formal writing? Like testing, note taking also shortens up words and uses abbreviations, yet that has no affect on what so ever on their formal writing. English would be very boring if we always had to write in the same style. It is misleading to say that text messaging language is completely different from the English language because most text messages are still written in Standard English with proper punctuation and grammar (David Crystal 16).
Text messaging does not follow a certain criteria or rubric, it is free writing. You are able to write whatever you want, and however you want, unlike a formal writing assignment which is supposed to be free of grammatical errors. Text messaging causes students to write poorly in their formal assignments is an understatement that most people have. It is not that difficult to go through and proof read your paper a couple of times. Some say that students have just adapted to the testing language and they cannot catch the mistakes that are being made in their papers just from proof reading.
It is also beneficial to have a friend or a teacher read through your paper before turning it in just to make sure it is free of errors. Microsoft words spell check also catches a lot of grammatical errors and most of the time it even capitalizes the letter “l” for you, cannot even type the word without it being automatically capitalized for me. Everyone, teachers especially, need to socially accept that the use of text messaging is increasing rapidly. Today technology is advancing faster than ever, Campus Security at the University of New Mexico found out that 90% of students carry a cell phone (Devalue, Ellis, Hodge, Powell 26).
That statistic is similar for any university. Also “according to a Nielsen Mobile 2009 national survey, U. S. Teens use their cell phones for testing more than talking, sending or receiving on average of 2,899 text messages a month” (Rosen 421). This means that the vast majority of students have access to text messaging. It would be beneficial to students if text messaging could be used in higher education. It is complicated for many students to remember all of their due dates and assignments when they have a heavy load of classes.
If teachers were to send UT text messages reminding each student that something is due that day it would open up a lot of opportunities for students to turn in their work on time. Unlike an assignment notebook, almost 90% of students have their phone on them at all times. Text messages sent to students by teachers could be used for personalized support, motivational messages, feedback on lectures, ideas, or projects, alerts to check email, reminders for key deadlines, cancelled classes, and even for overdue library books (Sofia, Looming, Backhanding 3).
If this proposal truly went into effect it would enhance interaction between and students and teachers, and would reduce cultural and communication barriers between teachers and students by using technology that almost every student can understand. Text messaging is a harmless tool used for conversing with people over cell phones. Testing has increased rapidly becoming one of the most universal forms of communication in the world. It has influenced our culture in positive ways and we must learn to adapt to it. Testing is influential on the world and can be quite a convenient tool.