It’s called “text speak” -- the language that has developed around texting, influenced by Twitter’s limitations of character usage, is hampering teenagers’ skills with grammar and language, says David Dillard with KD College Prep in Dallas. “If you haven’t ever had command of the English language, then you are limiting the circles in which you can function. That’s the problem.”
Dillard says the abbreviations are showing up everywhere now, and adults are just as guilty. “It’s not just teenagers. We receive resumes with those types of abbreviations included.”
Language is defined as “the use of words in a structured and conventional way.” But conventions are changing and word structures are changing, which is getting in the way of communication. Grammar has fallen by the wayside. Communication is defined as “imparting or exchanging of information or news,” and if the person with whom you are trying to communicate doesn’t know the abbreviations, are you imparting anything?
“So I have specific advice to my high school students,” says Dillard. “No matter what you plan to major in, no matter what your future career path, you need to develop a strong foundation in writing and communication skills.”
If you got lost in the title of this story – “OMG” can be translated into “Oh My Gosh.” “R U” is an abbreviation for “…are you…” OK has always been an accepted shortcut to okay. “w-“ now means “with” and “tht” dropped the vowel to mean “that.”
Do we have a failure to communicate?