30 Minus 2 Days of Writing: Texting (7/28)

I’ll admit, I’m a texter.

In this day and age, it’s hard not to be. But I’m not afraid of a phone call or anything like that. And I’ve actually witnessed people texting each other, when they could have walked 250 feet just to talk.


As technology continues to grow, texting and other forms of communications will obviously increase. This makes it harder for the face-to-face meetings to still happen.

I’m not as worried about the texting as I am about how it’s making our nation (and the world, for that matter) dumber.

Yes, I said it.

How do I mean this? Allow me to make it a bit easier for you to understand, if you’re a texter.

Texter 1: ?4U

Texter 2: sup

Texter 1: R u readin this blog?

Texter 2: yeh. dood is cr8Z

Texter 1: its stoopid

Texter 2: YOLO

Honestly, that probably doesn’t make a lot of sense. I say that because I don’t know all the texting lingo of today’s generation. There are too many abbreviated words and phrases. I’ve had to ask people what the hell they were talking about during some exchanges.

Tap, tap, tapping away! (photo courtesy greyerbaby on MorgueFile)

I’m old school, I guess.

When I text, I type out full words. The only time I don’t is if my iPhone has decided it knows a better word than I am typing. At that point, auto correct will do something stupid. Then I have to type it all over to make it right.

I never use the normal “shortcuts,” such as “2, U, R, 4” etc. It’s lazy.

And, it becomes the norm for the younger generation. When they do all that “tap, tap, tap” conversations, it becomes part of their vocabulary. Though I use the term in online discussions, how many times have you heard somebody say “LOL” out loud? Seriously? Or “OMG.”

Come on, people.

But this gets worse. I swear.

I’ve taught at the college level before. I was an adjunct instructor, doing several freshman composition classes. This is something I hope to do again sometime as it’s a really refreshing job. I truly loved it. But it was also maddening at times.

I actually had to put something in the syllabus about using texting lingo. In fact, I noted that if I saw any of this in a paper, it would immediately get an F. I would stop reading at that point and fail the paper.

It happened several times, too. Some people had it happen to them more than once.

When typing a paper, I can kind of understand the mistake one time. And, usually, it didn’t hurt them that bad because I would often drop a person’s lowest grade. So, in the end, it was my hope they learned from that mistake.

But, I actually had more than one person turn in an in-class assignment — so handwritten — with text lingo.

Should I use it? Yes… yes I should. OMG!! Like guys, 4 real?


The best was when they would get the paper back and see that giant F. The looks on their face when they skimmed and saw why they got that grade. One paper I was grading was excellent. And it was well on its way to being a really good grade. Then it slipped in. A giant “U.”

I shook my head.

I have no issues with people texting and having fun with it for communication. Heck, even the shortcuts I can live with (though it still bothers me) when I receive a text.

But in the real world? Nah.

When questioned about my policy by several students, I defended it easily enough. I told them in this situation, you just get an F. And, if you only do it once (several of them needed two or three Fs to realize I wasn’t kidding), it doesn’t hurt you that bad. However, do it in the real world and see what happens.

Imagine putting something like this in a cover letter?

“I would luv 2 work 4 ure company cause i think i can do what u need done.”

I’m pretty sure I know where that cover letter and resume would (hopefully) end up. Who knows though? In this day and age, you never can tell. People’s eyes go glossing over things and maybe something would be missed.

I’ll keep fighting the good fight. Alas, in the end, it may be a losing battle. Only time will tell.

Feel free to leave a comment, or e-mail P.J. at hoohaablog [at] gmail.com. Also, please “Like” HooHaa Blog on Facebook!

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Sports writer and live in upstate New York. This place is a spot for me just to throw my thoughts. I'm into writing, photography, travel, softball, geocaching, good beer and a good cigar at times. And no matter what anyone says, baseball is the greatest game ever invented.

22 thoughts on “30 Minus 2 Days of Writing: Texting (7/28)”

  1. Amen to that. When texting, I always type the full word. Occasionally I’ll let a LOL slip in, but never in formal writing, never in school and never at work. If you can’t distinguish between internet/phone slang and real language, you are screwed.
    Ziva recently posted..TextingMy Profile

  2. I’ve only been texting a little over a year – since I got my smart phone, but I mostly type out my words. Hubby and I have a few shortcuts that we use like SDN (shutting down now) when he’s leaving work, and RSN for real soon now, which rarely ever is – soon that is.

    I like your examples way better than mine today. I hit Nicky’s brick wall. I did find a really good listing of texting shortcuts which helped since I don’t know many.
    Linda recently posted..TextingMy Profile

  3. I’m very bad at the OMG and LOL in online posts and texting but to send it out in an email at work or to someone I don’t know, I would hope not!
    I look at this texting talk the same way my parents looked at parachute pants and jelly shoes. It’s a phase that hopefully the youngsters grow out of before they hit real world.
    But I think they just put LOL in the dictionary so beware.. it’s taking over!!
    Jonna recently posted..Hello February!My Profile

    1. I am guilty of LOL, too. Never OMG, unless I am making fun of internet shorthand!I don’t see the phase ever leaving. I think it will get worse, unfortunately.

    1. Yep. College students, at that. I had one do it on a final paper. I stressed it so much, too. I said “just read over your stuff. If you see the screw up, fix it.” Still got it. Unreal.

    1. The call is better. But I posted not too long ago how it feels odd to talk to people on the phone now because it’s hard to end a call. Personally, I’d rather see somebody in person.

  4. Don’t get me started. That, plus tattoos and are going piercings are going to be the downfall of the younger generation. Some piercings won’t hurt, but do you seriously believe those 3 inch holes in your earlobes is going to help land you a corporate job and what do you think those are going to look like in 40 or 50 years?

    I’ll get off of the soapbox and let you get back on where you belong since this was your post.
    Paul Myers recently posted..All over but the shoutingMy Profile

    1. No need to get off the soapbox, Paul. I know what you mean. But tattoos and piercings are so in, now. I don’t have an issue with some of it. But I wonder what these people will think in 50 years.

  5. Hey P.J.! The weirdest one of these I came across was the word “book”; I heard kids using it, and when I asked what it meant, they did the eye-rolling thing and said, “it’s another word for COOL”. Turns out, on early auto-text systems, if you tried to type C-O-O-L, the first autotext suggestion was B-O-O-K. SO, the word became a default, and kids started using it rather than scroll down to C-O-O-L. And of course, having texted it, they started using it in real life. “That was so totally book, man!” Weird. Indigo
    Indigo Roth recently posted..The Seventh ScrapeMy Profile

  6. Students who turn in papers with ridiculous text message abbreviations need those rude awakenings. You have a harsh grading policy, but I think I’m on board with it.

    Sadly, I see a lot of that awful, SMS-abbreviated wording quite often while I’m at work. A little piece of me dies every time I see “Thx” at the bottom of an e-mail.
    KZ recently posted..All Things FrenchMy Profile

    1. Yep, agreed they need the reality check. I actually thought I was being nice as I figured they’d learn after the first one. Still crazy.

      And yeah, I’m with you when I see stuff like that. It’s amazing how the internet shorthand is creeping into everyday life more and more.

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