You speak English. Not bingo!

With all the technologies that are around us and all the social networking we are involved with, never has it been more common to use abbreviations or text language. We do it all the time without even thinking. So much so that this so called ‘text language’ is filtering into places where it has no place being. And that’s where the problem lies.

As time consuming as writing in full when texting or chatting is, we are now at a point where we automatically use shortened versions of the words rather than the actual version as though writing in short has become second nature. Now this is not really a problem, of course everyone is free to write as they wish, but what if we want to write an article or a letter and keep getting stuck because we are so used to writing in short? And what happens when children use shortened versions in their essays?

Teachers all over the world are increasingly complaining about the fact that students today use text language in their essays and when students are approached, they do not understand what the problem is, because this heavy use of shortened language is the norm for them, almost second nature.

A funnier side to this problem is the several misinterpretations that occur when text language is used. Mobile phones auto-correct text we write and certain abbreviations get changed to other words and although this may be funny at times it may be very frustrating when it comes to understanding what the other person is saying. Punctuation is non-existent in text language so a conversation can go one way or another with both people becoming frustrated. For instance, “pick up milk” can sound aggressive and bossy whilst “pick up milk?” gives it a softer, more polite way of telling someone to do something.

Of course, reviewing what is written would be ideal though this is rarely done since most text or chats are written quickly. Had my mum looked at the text message “just saw Blair. All ok.” it would have saved my dad plenty of confusion as to how she came to meet Britain’s ex-prime minister!

Written by Claire Caruana.