University of Calgary linguistics researcher Joan Lee, who interviewed texters in research for her master’s thesis. Texting is associated with rigid linguistic constraints that caused students to reject many of the words that non-texters knew, she found.
“Textisms represent real words which are commonly known among people who text,” she says. “Many of the words presented in the study are not commonly known and were not acceptable to the participants who texted more, or read less traditional print media.”
Lee suggests that reading traditional print media exposes people to variety and creativity in language that’s not found in the colloquial peer-to-peer text messaging used among youth or “generation text.”
She says reading encourages flexibility in language use and tolerance of different words. It helps readers to develop skills that allow them to generate interpretable readings of new or unusual words.
I warn my children that immersion to txt language may addle their language construction. Answering papers, quizzes or submitting reports partly blemished with txt formats can be embarrassing.