It’s eleven o’clock on a Thursday night and right before you go to bed, a tone too familiar pops up. Your friend asks through a text to read his essay, finding poor grammar and spelling abbreviations such as “bc” and “prob”, you begin to think to yourself,” How can texting really find its way into my friends paper? ” According to Michaela Cullington, in the article “Does Texting Affect Writing” Cullington had done some research of texting and how it will affect a writer’s behavior and grammar. There are definitely a large amount of people who believe that texting in fact, does affect a writer’s grammar.
In response to those who believe that there is a negative effect are those who side with the idea that texting has a no effect on people’s grammar. To settle the dispute, Cullington does small statistical analysis to come up with her own speculation if texting does have a negative correlation with writing such as poor grammar and substandard literature. Although some evidence shows that texting can cause bad habits, substandard writing does not come from texting, it comes from those who are unable to make the distinction of when it’s time to write a paper and when it’s time to send a text to your close friend.
The concerns affiliated with textspeak although made a big deal, shows minimal damage to us as writers. Cullington points out some of the arguments that were made by those who believe that texting has detrimental affects on its writers. Some of the arguments that Cullington writes in her article are some statistics such as, “… according to the National Center for Education Statistics, only 25% of high school students are ‘proficient writers”(362), which implies that since teenagers are a large group of heavy texters, their writing is directly negatively affected by texting.
Although there are only a small group of students who fall under the category of a proficient writer, texting is not the sole factor that contributes to the “poor skills” students are given. Some factors can be poor educational system or higher standards raised by those who create proficiency tests. Some other factors that give texting a bad reputation is the lack of punctuation included in texting. Cullington makes a statement that, “Many also complain that because texting does not stress the importance of punctuation, students neglect it in their formal writing”(363).
Many people believe that since texting does not usually include punctuation due to its causal connotation, it will show in their formal writing. Through multiple experiences with friends and students, it is obvious when it is time to take the idea of texting out and begin writing a professional paper. With all the reasons why texting does serious damage to our grammar, these bad habits can be fixed with the mindset of when to text and when to write.
Even with all the generalizations and accusations of text and its affect on grammar, there are still those who argue that there are no correlation and that in some cases, will improve a student’s writing. Some argue that texting invites writers to become more creative with their grammar. Cullington says that, “Texting also helps to spark student’s creativity… “(364), some people text so much that there are only a handful of ways to say something and eventually, a texter will have to evolve their grammatical skills to articulate their ideas into a message that doesn’t carry the same dull grammar that someone would use every day.
Learning to evolve your grammar means that you will have to practice what you already know as well as things you don’t know. The article stated, “… that it [texting] not only teaches elements of writing but provides extra practice to those who struggle with the conventions of writing” (Cullington 364). Sometimes when I text messages to my friends, I do not understand how to spell a word or I incorrectly punctuate my sentences; thanks to autocorrect I can learn from my mistakes and it gives me the practice that I need for preparation of riting an essay or some sort of article in school.
Texting is a tool and if used correctly, can help students create a better foundation for their grammatical skills. With both sides presenting their ideas, Cullington had to conduct surveys and research to find an answer herself. One of the experiments conducted was surveying students and asking them what type of “textspeak” they use. In her survey Cullington states, “I asked the students how long they have been texting;how often they texted;what types of abbreviations… “(366).
What the author is trying to learn is: What does it take to create an inefficient writer? Questioning the teachers as well, Cullington has come up with an answer herself; texting has minimal effect on writing. Although Cullington’s test was local, it does back up that texting should not have an effect on the student’s writing because they should know when to differentiate their grammar in text and on paper. As for Cullington I created a small survey for a group of close friends whom text heavily and was asked if texting affects their writing.
In the end, Cullington and I received similar results concluding that texting does not impair a person’s ability to be grammatically correct. Texting, although given a bad reputation for negatively impacting a student’s grammar, can actually be a tool to help someone become a better writer. There are many ways texting can help a student’s writing such as: it provides practice for the writer, teenagers are becoming more engaged with different types of communication outside of an english class, and it teaches students how to create words into an art; someone wouldn’t send the same message over and over again.
Cullington was presented with both sides of the argument of whether or not texting can affect a person’s writing and came up with her own conclusion. Agreeing with Cullington, texting should not affect a person’s writing and this has been backed up with not only personal experience, but with the responses from teacher and students alike.