Wut R U Thnkn?!

By Rachel Schwarz

Today, with texting and iChat being accessible to kids of all ages, are full words and punctuation losing their touch?

In the third grade, my dad granted my one and only wish: an AOL account. Instantly, I was able to e-mail, surf the Internet, and best of all, exchange instant messages with my friends. His only requirement was that I learn to type correctly- you know, left hand on “ASDF” and right hand on “JKL;”.  After a month of Mavis Beacon typing lessons on my own, I was ready. In just a few minutes, I became Rachelkool@aol.com.  By 7th grade, I was the fastest typist in my multimedia class, and everyone wanted to know where I’d acquired my superhuman skills.

In learning to put my fingers on the right keys, I learned to type using all of the letters for words like “you” and “are”. I gained an understanding that “great” isn’t spelled  “gr8”.

Yes… on Facebook and Twitter we take these shortcuts. The problem is that in English classes and when it comes to ten page papers, Webster’s Dictionary still reigns supreme. Despite the ease with which we can text a “c u l8r” or a “ttyl”, the art of spelling is not and should not be ignored. Learning to write properly is a necessity for obtaining jobs, getting accepted into higher educational institutions, and being perceived as an intelligent and well-spoken individual. And I’m in my early twenties – in the very generation that cultivated this computer sign language.

There’s a time and a place for abbreviated speech, and it’s outside the classroom and the work place.

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