GR8 news for worried parents

May 24, 2009 at 4:08 pm | Posted in English | Leave a comment

GR8 news for worried parents: frequent use of text abbreviations does not harm children’s literacy – and may even improve it.

Are you able to read the title? GR8 = G R – /EIT/

Concerns have been raised that an explosion in the use of “textisms” like “CUL8R” and “wot u doin 2nite?” could be damaging children’s reading and spelling ability. To investigate, Beverly Plester and her colleagues at Coventry University in the UK asked 88 children aged 10 to 12 to write text messages describing 10 different scenarios. When they compared the number of textisms used to a separate study of the children’s reading ability, they found that those who used more textisms were better readers.

But do textisms improve literacy, or do better readers use more textisms? The preliminary results of a follow-up study seem to suggest the former, Plester says. She believes that this is because textisms are phonetically based: “Phonological awareness has long been associated with good reading skills.” Exposure to the written word in any form is also linked to improved literacy. “These kids are engaging with more written language and they’re doing it for fun.” (newscientist.com)

Here are some frequently used texting terms or acronyms, words formed from each of the first letters of a phrase. There’s a full dictionary of the acronyms typically used in chatrooms here – and some of which parents should be particularly aware of including PAW – it means ‘parents are watching’!

AFAIK As far as I know
ATB All the best
BTW By the way
CID Consider it done
CUL8R Call you later
EZ Easy
H&K Hug and kiss
HHIS Hanging my head in shame
IYSS If you says so
ILY I love you
LOL Laughed out loud / Lots of luck
LTS Laughing to self
L8R G8R See you later alligator
LUWAMH Love you with all my heart
JM2p Just my two pence worth
OTOH On the other hand
2MORO Tomorrow
CU 2MORO See you tomorrow
ROFL Rolling on the floor laughing
SHID Slaps head in disgust
SOHF Sense of humour failure
THX or TX Thanks
TTFN Ta ta for now
TWIMC To whom it may concern
oxoxoxoxo Hugs and kisses
WYSIWUG What you see is what you get
YBS You’ll be sorry
YKWYCD You know what you could do
YTLKIN2ME You talking to me?
YYSSW Yeah, yeah, sure, sure, whatever

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