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Is Texting Ruining Our Ability To Spell?

Flickr.com, Jhaymesisviphotography

There is nothing that makes me crazier than getting a text message from an adult that looks like HTML code exploded on it: “OMG R U GNG 2 movies W US 2NITE?”And that was from a 34 year old. The text messages from teenagers are almost incomprehensible.

Before smartphones you only had 140 characters to get your message across and that led to a whole language of abbreviations like “OMG,” “BRB,” “LOL,”LTR,” “BFF,” and about ten thousand more. There are times I felt like a code cracker just trying to figure out what my friends where trying to tell me.

A recent survey proves that all of these text abbreviations and auto-correct is ruining our ability to spell. 65% of people surveyed didn’t know how to spell “necessary”, and 33% couldn’t spell “definitely” or “separate”.  Only 21% of people could spell all three words, or use the words “there” and “it’s” correctly.

  • ‘Necessary’:  65% of people got it wrong, by adding an extra ‘c’ or ‘r’ to the word.
  • ‘Definitely’:  33% spelled it wrong, by using an ‘a’ in the middle or adding an extra ‘f’.
  • ‘Separate’:  33% had an ‘e’ in the middle or added a second ‘p’.
  • ‘It’s’ or ‘its’:  Only 21% of those surveyed knew how to complete this sentence:  “I’m afraid _______ going to be a long season.” (‘it’s')
  • There, their, or they’re:  Only 21% of people knew which one completed this sentence:  “_______ are no excuses.”  (There)
  • Your, you’re:  It is not spelled UR.

It only takes an extra moment to spell things correctly and use proper punctuation when you text. And with the smartphones you’re not stuck with T9 Word so there’s no excuse. Drop the abbreviations, use spell checker (it’s built-in people), and proofread your messages before you send them, especially texts.

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