Yo, Can U Plz Help Me Write English?

from the and-again dept

Here’s yet another article talking about how kids today are letting instant messaging language seep out into other forms of communications. This article, though, says that a number of parents are forbidding their kids from using instant messaging as a way to “solve” the problem. This seems a little extreme, and is unlikely to actually do much good. It’s more important for the kids to realize what type of language is appropriate in which situations. I’m not sure if the poor grammar and language skills are really the “fault” of instant messaging, or teachers who haven’t been able to properly teach the students to distinguish proper language from vernacular (whether online or off).

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Comments on “Yo, Can U Plz Help Me Write English?”

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Duffman says:

Re: Re: Dialects of net-speak

I completely agree with the comment in the article that outright bans aren’t right, that it would be better to teach them which usage is appropriate in each situation. I like the yardwork/going out analogy. I mean Olde English had just as much emphasis on grammar and spelling as we have today, and it’s still english, but try speaking or writing in it today and people will regard you as nuts. The medium is causing the language to evolve, and it will continue to do so, no matter how people try and change it. Don’t get me wrong, I dislike the erosion of grammar and spelling too. I can be a militant grammarian myself at times. But the kids’ll be around a lot longer than the rest of us. 🙂

Chris Falco says:


Right, lets ban people for being efficant.

You know I remember a time when memory was expensive and using shortcuts was innovative and necessary.

I recal stories of certain Atari programmers being paid $1000 for each memory chip they could eliminate in a final product.

In instant messages, grammer is rarely important. It’s the content of the message that is important, so saving time and using shortcuts is perfectly logical.

SMS is an even better example.

Just make sure your kids understand the difference between formal and informal writing.

dorpus says:

Re: yeah!

>lets ban people

Did you mean “let’s ban people”?

> for being efficant.


>I recal


>grammer is rarely important.

I believe grammar is quite important.

>Just make sure your kids understand the difference between formal and informal writing.

It could be that kids who do not practice formal writing end up sounding illiterate.

phyche says:

It's defintiely a problem

I see it all the time. It’s not limited to instant messaging. People are applying the “it’s the message that counts, not how it’s spelled” thought to almost every form of written communication. I’ve seen the poor writing/grammar in numerous emails, product brochures, and even formal business proposals. There is definitely some breakdown in the education system, it’s not merely a side effect of using IM programs.

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