Texting and grammar:

r u goin 2 c her 2-nit

Strict grammarians (I don’t count myself in those ranks) believe that text messaging will kill off good grammar, spelling and punctuation. (Unless it literally kills us first, since many text messages are sent and received from behind the wheel of vehicles at 45-plus mph.)

But before we don our funeral duds, let’s think about what’s happening with the text message.

First, it’s a form of (usually) one-to-one communication.

Second, it’s writing–not great writing and often not correct writing in the sence of using the standard rules of grammar, spelling and punctuation.

Ah, but it’s efficient, argue the texters.

Well, yes and no. Texting with language like what is above is efficient for the writer. But is it efficient for the reader? It is only if the reader knows the language and the symbols. Even then, it may not be totally and quickly comprehensible.

If a reader has to “figure out” the writing, then the writer has failed. Whether it’s a text to a friend or a nationally telecast news bulletin, the writing should be absolutely clear to the reader or listener. So, even though it takes a little longer to write . . .

Are you going to see her tonight?

. . . that’s better than what’s at the top of this post.

And “Loved your text” is certainly better than the title.

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About Jim Stovall

Jim Stovall, a retired journalism prof, is now a novelist, self publisher, watercolorist, gardener, woodworker and beekeeper -- among others things.

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