[thechat] Nu Shortcuts in School R 2 Much 4 Teachers

Madhu Menon webguru at vsnl.net
Wed Sep 25 00:59:00 CDT 2002


 From the "please save our language" department:


As more and more teenagers socialize online, middle school and high school
teachers like Ms. Harding are increasingly seeing a breezy form of Internet
English jump from e-mail into schoolwork. To their dismay, teachers say
that papers are being written with shortened words, improper capitalization
and punctuation, and characters like &, $ and @.

Teachers have deducted points, drawn red circles and tsk-tsked at their
classes. Yet the errant forms continue. "It stops being funny after you
repeat yourself a couple of times," Ms. Harding said.

But teenagers, whose social life can rely as much these days on text
communication as the spoken word, say that they use instant-messaging
shorthand without thinking about it. They write to one another as much as
they write in school, or more.


This is sad. Even on instant messenger, I type out full sentences. No "u r
simply gr8" for me, thanks. As a larger issue, you could see it as an
example of how the limitations of an interface (the SMS one in this
instance) affects society.

I now see this lingo being used on mailing lists, such as one called
"indiaentrepreneurs" on Yahoo. I think to myself, "Would this person write
like that on a regular paper business letter? If not, why is it acceptable
on email?"



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Madhu Menon
Internet User Experience Consultant

Content * Interfaces * Usability * Net Strategy

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