IM Shorthand Slips Off Computer Screens And Into Schoolwork –

Well, guess what is back in the news:

IM Shorthand Slips Off Computer Screens And Into Schoolwork –

“They are using it absolutely everywhere,” said Sara Goodman, an English teacher at Clarksburg High School in Montgomery County who has worn out many purple and red markers circling the offending phrases in papers and tests.

Wendy Borelli, a seasoned English teacher at Springbrook High in Silver Spring, finds photo captions for the school yearbook sprinkled with shorthand such as “B4” and “nite.” A student who left on a brief errand to the office announced he would “BRB.”

In 2004, 16 million teenagers used instant messages to communicate, up from 13 million in 2000, according to the Pew Internet and American Life Project. Students say IM language has become so ubiquitous they often do not realize they have lapsed into it.

The good news with this article is that the journalist goes on to talk about IM as a “teachable moment” and quote Leila Christenbury. She might also have checked out the U of T study that came out last summer about the ways in which IM does, and does not, influence writing.

What I am concerned about with this type of article in a major newspaper is that it continues the whole fear of our language degenerating at the hand of technology. Perhaps I can use this in some way as it relates to the state of English education?

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